Tobacco consumption among low and middle-income countries where food insecurity remains a challenge poses several concerns. This review examines the available global evidence linking smokeless tobacco (SLT) use with public health nutrition and its implications.
Systematic review of articles extracted from PubMed and Scopus from January 2000 to December 2020.
Included studies that demonstrated the relationship between SLT and nutrition-related factors i.e., body mass index, malnutrition, anemia, poor birth outcomes, and metabolic disorders. PRISMA guidelines have been followed to conduct the systematic evidence review.
A total of 34 studies were finally used in the systematic review, which included Cross-Sectional (31), and Cohort (3).
SLT use has a huge impact on body weight, alteration in taste, poor oral health, and consumption of fruits and vegetables leading to malnutrition. Maternal use of SLT not only leads to anemia but also hampers birth outcomes. Increased risk of metabolic syndrome and gallstone disease among SLT users are also well documented in the studies.
The review highlights the linkages between SLT usage and poor nutritional outcomes. Tobacco control efforts should be convergent with public health nutrition to achieve overall health benefits. Attention is also required to explore suitable mechanisms for SLT cessation combined with enhancing food and nutrition security at the community level in sync with investments in public health nutrition intervention.