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EmeraldFields
06-11-08, 02:43
TUESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children who live with adult smokers are more likely to be underfed and undernourished, a new study finds.

The same is true for adult members of smoking households, but children feel the impact the most, said study author Dr. Michael Weitzman, chairman of pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine.

"We know that there are long-term consequences of food insecurity for children. They are more likely to do poorly in school, to have iron deficiency and anemia, and to have behavioral and social problems," Weitzman said.

"Food insecurity" is a concept that was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1990s to study malnutrition in developed countries such as the United States. "It is a standardized scale measuring how many times a household cannot give children the food they want, how many meals they skip, how often they go to bed hungry," Weitzman said.


Looking at data on 8,817 households gathered in national surveys by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Weitzman and his colleagues found that 15 percent of adults and 11 percent of children reported food insecurity within the past year, with 6 percent of adults and 1 percent of children experiencing severe food insecurity. This meant they went to bed hungry, because there wasn't enough food in the house.

The study found that 23 percent of households with children had at least one smoker, with the incidence higher -- 32 percent -- in low-income households. In those households with a smoker, 17 percent of children were food insecure, compared to 8.7 percent of those children in nonsmoking households. Severe food insecurity was reported for 3.2 percent of children in smoking households, compared to 0.9 percent of those living in households with no smokers.

Because families with at least one smoker spend an estimated 2 percent to 20 percent of their income on tobacco, it's quite likely that smokers' habits drain the money needed to provide adequate food, according to background information with the study.

Parents feel the food pinch themselves, Weitzman said. "They cut back on feeding themselves before they cut back on the children's food," he said. "And parents tend to feed the youngest children better."

The findings were published in the November issue of theArchives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

The problem is likely to grow worse, given the current condition of the economy, Weitzman said. "If the economic downturn persists, both food insecurity and adults smoking are likely to increase," he said, because smoking "is one of the hardest addictions to give up."

One sure way to reduce smoking -- raising the taxes on cigarettes -- has its own dangers, because it's likely to cut even more into the family food budget, Weitzman said.

Two other strategies should be considered, said John F. Banzhaf III, executive director and chief counsel of Action on Smoking and Health, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization.

"The first would be to persuade or even require physicians to report, as the law already requires in suspected child abuse, instances where parents smoke at home in the presence of children, especially children who already have asthma, sinusitis or other conditions which make them especially sensitive and susceptible," Banzhaf said.

A more aggressive tactic would be to take steps against doctors who do not warn people about the dangers of smoking or provide effective smoking cessation treatment, he said. "One journal article has even gone so far as to suggest that the best, and perhaps the only, way to motivate most of them would be to begin bringing malpractice actions where medical problems results," he added.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/04/AR2008110401938.html

Hmm quite an interesting article if I do say so myself. It looks as if the parents are choosing the smokes over the kids.

What do you guys think?

patriots88888
06-11-08, 02:50
Too generalized for my liking. Not everyone fits into a nice, convenient mode such as this.

Ward Dragon
06-11-08, 02:52
Very interesting. I've never smoked, and my dad used to but quit when I was born. I've always wondered if the tax on cigarettes was effective at getting people to quit or if they just had less money for other things. I guess in a lot of cases they just spend the food money on cigarettes because they need their fix. Not too surprising, but still very sad :(

I'm not too sure I understand the last part of the article though. This guy wants to sue doctors for what exactly? For not warning people that smoking is bad (which everyone knows now anyway)? If pictures of diseased lungs and disfigured people on television isn't enough to convince people to quit, then the doctor repeating it won't really have an effect either so it's not right to sue the doctor for failing to convince someone to quit. I guess I'd need to read more details of what the guy actually wants to do before I decide if it makes sense or not.

Tombreaper
06-11-08, 02:54
Ok, I think it's not total bull****, but it's also used for an excuse for todays problems in the US, like the intragovernmental holdings/public debt.
I think that causes most of the increasing poverty, leaving less money for food (and cigarettes)
Gasoline is also expensive and bad for our health, maybe they will study that too

Thorir
06-11-08, 02:57
If parents can't feed their kids, because they want cigarettes instead, there is something very wrong with them. http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u280/Kamihana/Smiley/inquisitive.gif

Tobacco doesn't affect the mind like alcohol and drugs.

interstellardave
06-11-08, 03:04
If they targeted alcohol they find a much worse situation, I'm sure...

Ward Dragon
06-11-08, 03:07
Tobacco doesn't affect the mind like alcohol and drugs.

My father was a severe alcoholic who gave up both cigarettes and alcohol. He said it was so much harder to give up the cigarettes, and even now (over 20 years later) he still wants a smoke but he couldn't care less about the alcohol.

If they targeted alcohol they find a much worse situation, I'm sure...

Yeah, probably. None if it is good :( I think from a health standpoint the cigarettes are worse, but the alcohol also causes behavior changes which can be very dangerous, so they're both bad.

rowanlim
06-11-08, 03:08
Too generalized for my liking. Not everyone fits into a nice, convenient mode such as this.

I agree. This is really down to the personality of people. Not all smokers are bad parents. Take my uncle; he smokes too, but he's a great father & gave his kids all the opportunities he could offer. So this article is pretty generalized since I know my cousins are helluva big compared to me :D

Heckler
06-11-08, 03:28
BS!



Leave smokers alone and start whining bout gamblers you silly american smoke haters...:tea:

takamotosan
06-11-08, 03:49
both my parents smoke...

and i used to be FAT.

so this doesn't work.

Heckler
06-11-08, 05:03
both my parents smoke...

and i used to be FAT.

so this doesn't work.

AMEN!
My parents never had any children though...they were too poor thanx to ciggy prices

Feather Duster
06-11-08, 05:07
AMEN!
My parents never had any children though...they were too poor thanx to ciggy prices

Are you adopted or something? Sorry if too personal. Because if you aren't, then your sentence doesn't make much sense, O.o

ivannnnn
06-11-08, 05:08
Smoking is evil to me. :mis:

Heckler
06-11-08, 05:18
Are you adopted or something? Sorry if too personal. Because if you aren't, then your sentence doesn't make much sense, O.o

My parents never had any children...I was born an adult :D

Ward Dragon
06-11-08, 05:21
My parents never had any children...I was born an adult :D

All I have to say is ouch, your mother must have gone through one hell of a pregnancy :vlol: :D

Feather Duster
06-11-08, 05:32
All I have to say is ouch, your mother must have gone through one hell of a pregnancy :vlol: :D

:vlol:

"PUSH!!" "OH MY GOD! Why is there humongous legs sticking out of me!!!???"

rowanlim
06-11-08, 05:34
both my parents smoke...

and i used to be FAT.

so this doesn't work.

Hahaha this article is definitely a generalization :p

My parents never had any children...I was born an adult :D

All I have to say is ouch, your mother must have gone through one hell of a pregnancy :vlol: :D

:vlol:

Muhammad
06-11-08, 09:07
This study is just ridiculous.

erosan
06-11-08, 09:34
^^^ agree

interstellardave
06-11-08, 12:19
Well, I don't know that it's totally ridiculous... any addiction can drain a familys' finances--and cigarettes are really expensive these days. I've never smoked but I've still noticed how much higher the price of cigarettes has gotten.

I still say alcohol abuse causes worse problems, because it can not only be a financial strain but it alters a persons' behavior and it's obvious how that throws families out of whack--we've all seen examples.

Lavinder
06-11-08, 12:29
It ****es me off, in my family when my mom asks my dad to come home with essentials when we are running low on food he comes back with teabags, sugar, milk, cigarettes and maybe a few chocolates.

A. I don't drink tea, it's their addiction not mine.
B. I don't smoke either, so I don't benefit from this.
C. I'd rather fruit, or other sorts of food rather than damn chocolate.

My family are going through a rough time at the moment with money, and still they do not consider stopping smoking - and my mother refuses to get a job because she believes that vacuuming a bit, and using machines to wash stuff consists of a job. :rolleyes:

pEhouse
06-11-08, 12:37
I think a lot of you close their eyes to this problem because smoking is still widely accepted. I, actually, always wonder how homeless people I see in the city still manage to use that little money they are begging for to buy cigarettes. Why do people who complain they don't have enough money always seem to have the money to get smokes? How is it acceptable to smoke inside your house when your kids are living there with you? Those are just some of the many questions that are running through my mind when I read articles like that. But you people go 'head and laugh.

interstellardave
06-11-08, 12:37
Lavinder: Tell your mom and dad that you'll pick up "the essentials" from now on... then you can get fruit instead of chocolate. There's nothing wrong with tea, though, but you could "forget" the cigarettes; they'll buy them later anyway.

Lavinder
06-11-08, 12:47
Lavinder: Tell your mom and dad that you'll pick up "the essentials" from now on... then you can get fruit instead of chocolate. There's nothing wrong with tea, though, but you could "forget" the cigarettes; they'll buy them later anyway.

The thing is we have no cash, so therefore they cannot give me any to buy the food - and he would not give me his debit card ;). It just seems like I have to scrounge food together to make packed lunches for college, then when I get home I find it hard to put a cooked meal together.

Admles
06-11-08, 13:14
Hmmmm....... they'll have to find another way to get people to stop smoking because this article isn't convincing anyone.

Hell, just outlaw it!

hehehe

Rileigh
06-11-08, 13:44
I find kids who smoke generally complain more about having not so much money.

oocladableeblah
06-11-08, 15:19
My dad smokes and am hungry and eat a lot. I am not fat though I am actually really skinny.
My friend is the exact same way except his parents don't smoke.

Geck-o-Lizard
06-11-08, 15:41
My friend through high school often came in dishevelled and hungry because her folks didn't care for her properly. Both heavy smokers and unemployed, money would go to cigarettes first and food seemed like an afterthought. On the other hand, she really learned how to take care of herself independently from her folks, unlike most other young adults I know. :)