TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
Researchers link alcohol and cigarettes to obesity and poor brain health
By Staff Writer
A new study that will be published in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research has revealed a link between hazardous drinking, chronic cigarette smoking and a high body mass index (BMI).
A research team from the Northern California Institute of Research and Education reported that although alcohol has no fat, it contains a sufficient amount of calories that can add up over time. Daily consumption of more than 30 grams of ethanol - the equivalent of two or three 12-ounce beers - has been linked to a higher risk for abdominal obesity.
Excessive weight, which increases a person's chances of developing serious health problems, has been rising steadily among alcoholics.
"In previous studies, we have shown that alcoholics who smoke cigarettes have greater brain injury than nonsmoking alcoholics," the researchers said. They added that in addition to drinking and smoking, "this new study suggests that a high BMI is associated with brain injury."
These findings are particularly significant as rates of drinking and cigarette use have been rising among teenagers over the past few years. Combined, these substances and the increasing prevalence of obesity can lead to poor brain health.