The researchers at Yale and Fairfield University in Connecticut compared the daily calorie intakes of non-smokers with smokers of almost 5,300 people, who took part in the National Health and Examination Survey. The study found that smokers eat less, but are more likely to make unhealthy food choices and eat foods with higher calorie content. According to the study, smokers consume an extra 0.23 calories for every gram of food they eat.
Daily smokers consumed 2.02 calories per gram of food compared with non-smokers who consumed 1.79 calories per gram of food, according to the study. Non-daily smokers, however, fell between the two groups, consuming 1.84 calories per gram, Mail Online reported.
The study is based on people recalling what they had eaten over a 24-hour period. The results were calculated by dividing the calorie content with the amount of food on the participants’ plates.
Dr Jacqueline Vernarelli, from Fairfield University, was quoted as saying, “We know from the literature that concerns about weight gain are barriers to quitting smoking, and we know that diets high in energy density are associated with higher body weight.
“Our results suggest that addressing the energy density in diets of current smokers may be a good target for interventions as part of a larger smoking cessation plan.”