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Ireland: Second-hand smoke linked to increased risk of child obesity

04 October 2019

The children of women who do not smoke are less likely to become overweight or obese, report researchers from University College Cork.

They found that children exposed to second-hand smoke postnatally from their mother or primary carer are 30% more likely to be overweight or obese at age three – and 31% at age five – compared with the children of non-smoking mothers, independent of other factors including low birthweight or breastfeeding.

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, used data from more than 11,100 children.

Lead author Salome Sunday said: ‘Inhaling the chemicals in tobacco smoke may cause impaired metabolic and immune functions.’  

Image credit | iStock

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