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Study: why pot smokers are skinnier (theatlantic.com)
36 points by chepaslaaa 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments



A few years ago, the thought occurred to me that a lot of christians are overweight, and I came up with hypothesis: since many indulgences are considered by many as forbidden, the remaining indulgence of food might tend to be overused. I focused on alcohol, since many christians (especially in the south) think it's sinful to drink alcohol. I looked up maps of alcohol use and maps of obesity. I didn't do the work to combine them, but looking at the maps side-by-side, it appears my hypothesis may be correct: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s5/sh/18dbb20c-29bb-412d-8d5d....

My hypothesis for pot would be the same - pot smokers may be less tempted to eat food all the time since they're getting their kicks from pot.


Did you also check whether obesity and Christianity have a common cause, such as poverty, low intelligence, or low education?

That graph looks quite suspicious -- 26% is rounded down to 0, and 31% is rounded up to 1.


> A few years ago, the thought occurred to me that a lot of christians are overweight

Perhaps this is a regional thing? Its certainly not universally true around the world.


It's hard to be overweight when you are starving.


I can't imagine the thought process that would generate this comment. Could you elaborate a little more? I'm genuinely curious.


Mormons throw a wrench in this theory. Utah is the #7 fittest state, and people don't drink, smoke cigarettes or smoke weed.


Maybe they get their kicks in the beautiful nature around Utah?


that is quite striking. very strong correlation except Utah.


I adhere to the ironclad rule that before committing suicide, I get stoned, put in a good 1.5hr aerobic and resistance workout, eat a couple slices of pizza, take a nap, feel great.

16 years ago, before adopting this rule, my strategy for coping with stress was to eat and watch TV or play video games. It was pretty obvious to me where that road ended. Weed is my gateway drug to a healthy lifestyle + pizza. It's illegal, but so is everything, so who even cares? I'm in good shape and I don't have to worry that there's no way out when stress piles up, which it still does. I gave this same advice to a friend suffering from stress in grad school. He was clearly in trouble... I invited him to spend the weekend in the countryside with me, shooting broken equipment and smoking up, but he felt he had to study. He killed himself at 8:30pm that Sunday evening. Psychology is counter-intuitive. Weed can be the key to being more intelligent at a healthy weight. The correlations found in the study may be explained by this. I think they are, in my case. Alternatively, perhaps weed just addled my brain and made me a successful and dedicated coder, entrepreneur, and machinist, by some insanely unlikely chance. Perhaps even it caused a marijuana-related tumor that is powering me? That would be copacetic.


You're stoned aren't you? ;)


what's incredible is that their caloric intake is significantly higher ~ 600 calories per day!! That would be enough to make one gain 50 lbs a year, and they're saying these people were less fat and better and regulating blood sugar. This really is a mystery that deserves to be solved.

I would guess, their metabolism is massively increased.


"IMPLICATIONS: Although they're not sure exactly how it happens, write the authors, these findings suggest that marijuana somehow works to improve insulin control"

The title is incorrect. The why is unanswered and still unknown. The article simply states that there appears to be a correlation.


I forget what the term for this body type is, but basically; there is a type of person who's body turns food into calories extremely well. This is beneficial to the brain, as it is a huge consumer of calories.

The downside to this body type is that the brain is always very active; it always has lots of calories to draw from. Makes for great programmers and problem solvers, but also leads to poor attention span and insomnia.

So my theory is that marijuana is a dampener on the brain for these people. It doesn't improve insulin control, it's just that people who like to use marijuana tend to have fantastic insulin control. The logic being good insulin control = noisy brain = marijuana use.

I don't think you could prove this, you'd need some way to quantify noise in the brain.


> The downside to this body type is that the brain is always very active; it always has lots of calories to draw from. Makes for great programmers and problem solvers, but also leads to poor attention span and insomnia.

Interesting - that part about overactive brain, short attention span and insomnia matches ADHD very nicely.

In my case, since I began using stimulants to treat ADHD, my sugar cravings disappeared and weight stabilised. In the past I used to overeat, because it calmed me down.


What stimulants are you referring to? Are those subscription/recipe based?


I believe you might be referring to "ectomorph"?


Yup! That's it!


You could start by proving that marijuana usage is hereditary.


Very fascinating idea, thanks for sharing !


I guess pot cookies and cup cakes wouldn't have quite the same effect :P


I'd like to know if these people also smoked cigarettes.


From the article:

> Current marijuana users had significantly smaller waist circumference than participants who had never used marijuana, even after adjusting for factors like age, sex, tobacco and alcohol use, and physical activity levels.


> I'd like to know if these people also smoked cigarettes.

While that seems like an obvious factor, I'm sure there are other factors too.

For instance, people getting high on cannabis probably won't drink as much beer or other forms of alcohol. This probably contributes to a generally lower weight.


I smoke cannabis and drink red wine am not overweight. Don't really exercise. Cannabis definitely helps alleviate built up stress.


I smoke and drink beer, but the difference is I drink fewer beers when stoned than I typically do when sober. I'll probably drink three or four depending on the day, but if I'm stoned, I might drink one beer? Maybe two? Typically though it's zero.


Aggreed




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