Archive for July 20th, 2011

Potato chips

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

A recent study, Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men, published in the New England Journal of Medicine led to some not so shocking conclusions:

Over a 4-year period, weight gain was most strongly associated with:

• potato chip intake (1.69 lb)

• potatoes in general (1.28 lb)

• beverages sweetened by sugar (1.00 lb)

• red meats (unprocessed: 0.95 lb,  processed: 0.93 lb).

And to support what nutrition experts have been saying for years now,  weight gain was reduced by those that ate more of the following foods:

• vegetables (−0.22 lb)

• whole grains (−0.37 lb)

• fruits (−0.49 lb)

• nuts (−0.57 lb)

• yogurt (−0.82 lb)

While this is not earth shattering news, it is important research. For one thing, the study compared weight gains over a 4-year period. This means that weight gain is likely not caused by seasonal factors and is more likely accounted for by actual types of foods participants ate. In addition, the study gives further support to the adage that we should eat our vegetables, add a little colon caring yogurt to our diets and cut down on red meat and potatoes.

The study also found support for the other well known adage: Exercise helps you reduce or maintain weight loss.  According to the study, “Other lifestyle factors were also independently associated with weight change (P<0.001), including physical activity (−1.76 lb across quintiles); alcohol use (0.41 lb per drink per day), smoking (new quitters, 5.17 lb; former smokers, 0.14 lb), sleep (more weight gain with <6 or >8 hours of sleep), and television watching (0.31 lb per hour per day).”

Link to the full article about the study here.

Take this short fun quiz to test your own knowledge of nutrition facts here.

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