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This is Scary!

New Proof: Potato Chips, Potatoes, Soda, Red Meat and Reality Shows will Make You Fat

A new study, based on the four-year eating habits of 120,877 healthy Americans debunks “eat less and exercise more” in favor of “you are what you eat.”

Television watchers gained a staggering 0.31 lb per hour per day!  The study, published June 23, 2011 in The New England Journal of Medicine,  followed the eating behavior of 120,877 healthy, U.S. women and men (none were obese). Lifestyle factors and weight change were evaluated at 4-year intervals: 1986 to 2006 and 1991 to 2003.

Results: Food

Researchers found that participants put on an average of 3.35lbs if they consumed: potato chips (an incredible 1.69 lb), potatoes (1.28 lb), sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb — just from soda!), unprocessed red meats (0.95 lb), and processed meats (0.93 lb).

Contrary, the following foods caused participants to lose weight: vegetables (−0.22 lb), whole grains (−0.37 lb), fruits (−0.49 lb), nuts (−0.57 lb), and yogurt (−0.82 lb: researchers noted that yogurt was most strongly linked to weight loss possibly due to the “good bacteria” it contains, which was found to raise the body’s metabolic rate). Interestingly enough, dairy products (mostly milk and cheese) had a neutral effect on weight.

Results: Lifestyle

Factors independently associated with weight had an effect: physical activity(participants lost 1.76 lb); alcohol use (gained 0.41 lb per drink per day), smoking (new quitters, gained a whopping 5.17 lb; former smokers, a mere 0.14 lb), sleep (significantly more weight gain with <6 or >8 hours of sleep), and television watching (gained a staggering 0.31 lb per hour per day)!

Since the study showed weight gain over four years, it proves why the outfits you wear regularly always seem to fit as opposed to the ones you save for special occasions, “people don’t become overweight overnight,” wrote Jane Brody in The New York Times.

Small is The New Black

The beauty of the new study is its ability to show, based on real-life experience, how small changes in eating, exercise and other habits can result in large changes in body weight over the years,” writes Brody. Weight gain start in increments and does not happen overnight, just as it is the only thing you cannot lose instantly.

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