Food Choices Have Important Associations with Weight Gain
A new study from Harvard researchers about dietary and other lifestyle patterns associated with weight gain in middle age adults provides important information about the value of making healthy food choices. Researchers combined data from three major studies that collected data every four years from more than 120,000 women and men over a period of years (1986-2006, 1991-2003, and 1983-2006). The men and women in these studies were mostly white and relatively well educated. They gained an average of almost a pound a year during these studies.
Weight change tended to be greater for alcohol users, people who had previously smoked or quit smoking, people with less than six or more than eight hours of sleep per
day, and people who spent time watching television. People who were physically active tended to gain less weight.
The findings of this study provide strong evidence that food choices, along with proper exercise and sleep, play an important role in determining how much weight adults tend to gain over time. In addition, the foods associated with less tendency to gain weight are consistent with messages provided by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate.
Source: Susan Nitzke, UW-Extension Nutrition Specialist