Healthcare News & Insights

Study: Obesity solution isn’t as simple as ‘calories in, calories out’

What we eat is as important as how much of it we eat, if a new study is to be believed.

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study found that participants who ate certain foods were far more likely to gain (or, in some cases lose) weight than other people. Among the foods most likely to pack on extra pounds over the course of four years were:

  • potato chips (1.69 lb)
  • potatoes (1.28 lb)
  • sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb)
  • unprocessed red meats (0.95 lb) and processed meats (0.93 lb).

On the other hand, some foods were associated with net weight loss, including:

  • vegetables (−0.22 lb)
  • whole grains (−0.37 lb)
  • fruits (−0.49 lb)
  • nuts (−0.57 lb), and
  • yogurt (−0.82 lb).

Researchers believe the specific chemical makeup of some foods — and how our bodies process those chemicals — makes them more or less likely to lead to weight gain.

Other lifestyle factors also influenced weight gain over time. To  noone’s surprise, physical activity was associated with an average 1.76 pound loss, while alcohol use, smoking, TV viewing and sleeping either less than six hours a day or more than 8 hours a day, were associated with weight gain.

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