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Each daily serving of processed meats associated with 0.9 lbs weight gain over 4 years
Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:50 am Email this article
Each daily serving of processed meats was associated with a weight gain of 0.9 pounds over 4 years according to a study by Harvard researchers. Subjects
Subjects: 120,877 U.S. women and men
The findings are based on data from three large, long-term government-funded trials looking at diet, lifestyle and health in adults: the Nurses’ Health Study, which has tracked 121,701 women since 1976; the Nurses’ Health Study II, which has followed 116,686 women since 1989; and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which includes 51,529 men enrolled in 1986.
The new analysis involves 20 years of data on 120,877 men and women from these three cohorts. Researchers tracked changes in participants’ eating and lifestyle habits—and weight—every four years.
Average Weight Gain
Average weight gain over 4 years: 3.4 lbs or 2.4%
The average 4-year weight gain in this study was 3.4 pounds or 2.4 percent of their body weight.
Comments from the Lead Author
Comments from Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian
“For diet, conventional wisdom often recommends ‘everything in moderation,’ with a focus only on total calories consumed,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and lead author of the study.
“Our results demonstrate that the quality of the diet — the types of food and beverages that one consumes — is strongly linked to weight gain.”
“Small dietary and other lifestyle changes can together make a big difference — for bad or good,” says Mozaffarian.
“That makes it very easy to gradually gain weight unintentionally, but also means that a little bit of attention to a handful of dietary and other lifestyle changes can prevent this.”
Study’s Limitations: self-reported portion size, and were white, educated adults
The study limitations included that it relied on self-reported portion size and used different serving sizes between foods.
The study was also of mostly white, educated adults.
Here are links to other articles posted prior to this about the effect of meat on body weight.
- Non-meat-eaters weigh 6-7 pounds less than meat-eaters
- Habits associated with staying lean
- Ancient man lived on diet of hunted meat
- Hunter gatherers had little coronary heart disease dispite high-meat diet
- Fish eaters weigh 7 lbs less than meat eaters according to British study
- Vegetarians who consume dairy or eggs weigh about 7 lbs less than meat eaters
- Vegans weigh 10-13 lbs less than meat eaters
- From ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’: Good calories from meat, fish, fowl, cheese, eggs, butter
- U.S. Food Consumption: Meat, poultry and fish intake has increased 7% since 1970
- Habits associated with staying lean (include a low-meat, high-vegetable diet)
Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun 23, 364(25):2392-404.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH
665 Huntington Ave, Bldg. 2-319
Boston, MA 02115 USA
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