Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoking May Worsen Malnutrition In Developing Nations

Date:
August 24, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. 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)

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Smoking May Worsen Malnutrition In Developing Nations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824081126.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, August 24). Smoking May Worsen Malnutrition In Developing Nations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824081126.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Smoking May Worsen Malnutrition In Developing Nations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824081126.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins