Smokers' weight gain explained

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Smokers who kick the habit and then gain weight may do so because they have a lower level of a hormone which controls appetite, according to new research.

Findings of a team based in Newcastle and Melbourne, Australia which are published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Obesity indicate that smokers have lower levels of leptin, which moderates hunger.

Smoking makes the appetite centre in the brains of smokers more sensitive to leptin so their appetite is suppressed. When a person stops smoking the brain becomes less receptive to leptin so they eat more which often results in weight gain. Glenda Cooper