"Battle Of The Bulge" Part 1

by Dr. Thomas Lundberg, MD 24. June 2014 16:13

A very interesting study concerning the effects of diet and lifestyle on body weight was published in the June 23, 2011 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.  This study looked at changes of weight (in pounds) over 4 year periods of time, in healthy, non-obese, US women and men.  Dietary influences are based on an increased daily serving of an individual dietary component.  The results are telling, yet hardly surprising.  Those dietary items most strongly associated with weight gain included: French fries (3.35 pounds), potato chips (1.69 pounds), potatoes (1.28 pounds), sugar sweetened beverages (1.0 pounds), unprocessed red meats (0.95 pounds), processed meats (0.93 pounds), and refined grains (0.39 pounds).

Dietary items associated with weight loss included:  yogurt (-0.82 pounds), nuts (-0.57 pounds), fruits (-0.49 pounds), whole grains (-0.37 pounds) and vegetables (-0.22 pounds).  Consumption of fish and poultry was not evaluated. 

As far as lifestyle was concerned, weight gain was associated with watching television (0.31 pounds) per hour per day, sleep of less than 6 hours or greater than 8 hours (0.14 pounds), and recent quitters of smoking (5.17 pounds).  Physical activity is associated with weight loss of -0.176 pounds. 

The results are not surprising, considering what humans have subsisted on since the beginning of mankind …. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and although not studied poultry and fish.  The only exception to this list of naturally occurring dietary choices, appears to be yogurt.

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