Body Mass Index and Marijuana Use

College of Medicine, University of Florida, PO Box 100183, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
Journal of Addictive Diseases (Impact Factor: 1.46). 02/2005; 24(3):95-100. DOI: 10.1300/J069v24n03_08
Source: PubMed


Though marijuana has been reported to stimulate appetite, we searched for a correlation between obesity and decreased marijuana use. We examined charts of all females referred for morbid obesity/weight management in a 12-month period. BMI and substance use data were collected from 297 charts. While 29% of the sample with BMI < 30 (n = 7) used marijuana in the past year, only 21% of those with BMI 30-39 (n = 84), 16% of those with BMI 40-49 (n = 110) and 14% (n = 96) of those with BMI > 50 used marijuana in the past year. Linear regression revealed a negative correlation between BMI group and percent marijuana use (R-squared = 0.96; P = 0.0173). These findings provide support for overeating as competition for drugs and alcohol in brain reward sites.

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    • "Epidemiological studies seem to suggest that, especially in women, a moderate alcohol consumption can protect against obesity, whereas that a growing consumption of alcohol would increase the risk of obesity [41]. In relation to consumption of cannabis and BMI, literature is contradictory showing even that there is no relationship between this consumption and weight in women [42]. A two years follow-up study showed no association between drug use in adolescence and subsequent body weight [43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a public health problem of alarming proportions, including among the university population in Latin America. The purpose of this study was to determine the relation between the self-reported body mass index and the associated drug use and health-risk behaviors. We performed a cross-sectional, descriptive study of 3,311 Chilean university students (17-24 years). The variables weight, height, frequency of physical activity, diet quality index, and drug use were evaluated by way of a self-report questionnaire. 16.7% of students were overweight and 2.1% were obese. Higher rates of overweight and obesity were observed in the men compared to women. There was a significant but moderate association between self-perceived obesity and being men and higher age, and just low with greater use of analgesics and tranquilizers with or without a prescription. The punctual prevalence rates of self-reported obesity, in this sample, are consistent with other Latin American studies. The risk behaviors associated with perceived obesity in terms of gender, particularly the different pattern of drug use, highlight the importance of considering gender when designing strategies to promote health in a university setting.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy
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    • "Finally, future research should continue exploring factors that moderate the risk conveyed by abnormalities in reward circuitry in response to food reward, as such abnormalities have been implicated in obesity as well as substance abuse and pathological gambling. Interestingly, there is some evidence that obese individuals show a decreased risk of substance use and abuse (Simon et al. 2006; Warren et al. 2005), suggesting that routinely engaging in one reinforcing behavior may reduce the probability of turning to another reinforcing behavior. It is hoped that an improved understanding of the role of dopamine-based reward circuitry as well as factors that influence the functioning of this circuitry will inform the design of more effective preventive and treatment interventions for obesity. "
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
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    • "We hypothesized that higher BMI, cigarette smoking, age, and the magnitude of hazardous drinking levels are associated with smaller regional brain volumes, lower regional NAA levels, and lower cortical perfusion. Finally, as overeating and obesity were postulated to be protective against substance ⁄ alcohol use disorders (Kleiner et al., 2004; Warren et al., 2005), we hypothesized an inverse relationship of measures of drinking severity to BMI. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies demonstrated that alcohol dependence and excessive alcohol consumption are associated with increased rates of obesity. In healthy light-drinkers, we and others have observed associations between elevated body mass index (BMI) and reductions in brain volumes, lower concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA, marker of neuronal viability) and choline-containing compounds (Cho, involved in membrane turnover), and lower glucose utilization, particularly in frontal lobe-a brain region that is particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol dependence. Here, we evaluated whether BMI in alcohol-dependent individuals was independently associated with regional measures of brain structure, metabolite concentrations, and neocortical blood flow. As part of a study on the effects of alcohol dependence on neurobiology, we analyzed retrospectively data from 54 alcohol-dependent males, abstinent from alcohol for about 1 month and with BMI between 20 and 37 kg/m(2) by structural MRI, perfusion MRI (blood flow), and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. After correction for age, smoking status, and various measures of alcohol consumption, higher BMI was associated with lower concentrations of NAA, Cho, creatine and phosphocreatine (Cr, involved in high energy metabolism), and myo-inositol (m-Ino, a putative marker of astrocytes) primarily in the frontal lobe, in subcortical nuclei, and cerebellar vermis (p < 0.004). Regional brain volumes and perfusion were not significantly related to BMI. Furthermore, comorbid conditions, clinical laboratory measures, and nutritional assessments were not significant predictors of these MR-based measures. The results suggest that BMI, independent of age, alcohol consumption, and common comorbidities, is related to regional NAA, Cho, Cr, and m-Ino concentrations in this cohort of alcohol-dependent individuals. Additionally, as some common comorbid conditions in alcohol dependence such as cigarette smoking are associated with BMI, their associations with regional brain metabolite levels in alcohol-dependent individuals may also be influenced by BMI.
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