I’m not all that interested in weight, to be quite honest. If anything, I need to put on weight. But some recent news on weight gain caught my attention. A new study, Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has found that the food you eat may be even more important than the quantity of food you eat when it comes to weight gain.
The study involved “three separate cohorts that included 120,877 U.S. women and men who were free of chronic diseases and not obese at baseline, with follow-up periods from 1986 to 2006, 1991 to 2003, and 1986 to 2006.”
Taking age, numerous lifestyle factors, and baseline body-mass index into account (statistically), the study authors came to some very interesting conclusions on which foods stimulate or inhibit weight gain.
Across sex and cohort, the increased servings of the following foods most increased weight (the weight increases are for 4-year periods):
- potato chips (1.69 lb)
- potatoes (1.28 lb)
- sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb)
- unprocessed red meats (0.95 lb)
- processed meats (0.93 lb)
Looks like the famous “meet and potatoes” diet (with a soda and potato chips on the side) is the best way to increase weight (no wonder the U.S. is fighting with an obesity epidemic).
On the flip side, the food most “negatively” associated with weight gain — meaning, the foods most associated with weight loss — were:
- yogurt (−0.82 lb)
- nuts (−0.57 lb)
- fruits (−0.49 lb)
- whole grains (−0.37 lb)
- vegetables (−0.22 lb)
If you’re interested in losing weight, sure, exercising and eating less will help. However, simply changing which foods you eat is a good way to do so as well.
Image via qlinart