Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smoking may worsen malnutrition in developing nations

25.08.2009
A new study finds that smokers in rural Indonesia finance their habit by dipping into the family food budget—which ultimately results in poorer nutrition for their children.

The findings suggest that the costs of smoking in the developing world go well beyond the immediate health risks, according to authors Steven Block and Patrick Webb of Tufts University.

The study is published in the October issue of Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Using surveys of 33,000 mostly poor households in Java, Indonesia, the researchers found that the average family with at least one smoker spends 10 percent of its already tight budget on tobacco. Sixty-eight percent of a smoking family's budget goes to food, and 22 percent for non-food, non-tobacco purchases. The average non-smoking family, on the other hand, spends 75 percent of its income on food and 25 percent for non-food items.

"This suggests that 70 percent of the expenditures on tobacco products are financed by a reduction in food expenditures," the researchers write.

That decreased spending on food appears to have real nutritional consequences for children of smokers. The study found that smokers' children tend to be slightly shorter for their ages than the children of non-smokers. Height is often used by health researchers as a general barometer for nutrition in children.

The decrease in child nutrition associated with a parent who smokes is "an intuitive but rarely documented empirical finding," the researchers write.

The poorer nutrition in smoking families comes not only because they buy less food in total, but also because the food they buy tends to be of lower quality. The surveys show that, compared to non-smoking families, families with a smoker spend a larger budget share on rice and a smaller share on meats, fruits and vegetables, which are nutrient-rich, but more expensive.

Nearly 60 percent of Indonesian men smoke. Rates are similarly high—and increasing—in other developing Asian nations. Block and Webb's research suggests that these increasing rates pose a dual threat to developing nations.

"The combination of direct health threats from smoking coupled with the potential loss of [food] consumption among children linked to tobacco expenditure presents a development challenge of the highest order," the researchers conclude.

Steven A. Block and Patrick Webb, "Up in Smoke: Tobacco Use, Expenditure on Food, and Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries." Economic Development and Cultural Change 58:1. (October 2009)

A multidisciplinary journal of development economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change publishes studies using modern theoretical and empirical approaches that examine both determinants and effects of various dimensions of economic development and cultural change.

Kevin Stacey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchicago.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>