Sydney, Oct 23 (UNI) Contrary to popular perception Smoking does not help keep fat at bay, instead it does just the opposite, a study revealed.
A team of researchers from the University of NSW and the University of Melbourne found that smoking causes muscle loss, making people appear thinner even though their fat levels have remained the same or increased.
It also resulted in the body storing too much fat around vital organs.
The study, to be published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism is based on experiments conducted on mice, in which some were exposed to smoke from cigarettes and some were left unexposed, the Age reported.
It was found that even though the smoking mice ate about 23 per cent less than they would have if they were not smoking, their fat mass was not significantly altered.
Prof Margaret Morris at the University of NSW said the study proved that smoking along with an unhealthy Western diet increased metabolic disorders and fat accumulation.
''We have a real problem with a lot of young girls taking up smoking specifically because they think it can control their weight, and this study indicates that it doesn't,'' she said.