Lighting up for your health?
While marijuana may be more commonly associated with inducing a case of the munchies, now comes news from the American Journal of Medicine that researchers have found a link between pot-smoking and a smaller waist size.
“Despite its associations with increased appetite and caloric intake, marijuana use also is associated with lower body mass index and prevalence of diabetes,” researchers from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, wrote in their report.
For their study, the researchers reviewed data from 4,657 adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2005-10 who provided blood samples after a nine-hour fast. Of these, 579 said they currently used marijuana and 1,975 said they used it in the past. Marijuana use was associated with a 16% lower fasting level of insulin and 17% lower insulin resistance—a condition causing weight gain and a buildup of glucose in the blood.
Waist circumference also was measured, with past marijuana users having the largest at an average size of 97.7 centimeters, followed by persons who had never smoked marijuana at 97.4 centimeters and current users trailing the pack with an average waist size of 93.6 centimeters.
“The mechanisms underlying this paradox have not been determined,” the researchers note, but “with the recent trends in legalization of marijuana in the United States, it is likely that physicians will increasingly encounter patients who use marijuana and should therefore be aware of the effects it can have on common disease processes, such as diabetes mellitus.”