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weight gain

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Fruits and Vegetables Benefit Your Waist!

Eat more fruits and non-starchy vegetables to help maintain ideal weight.

A meta-analysis of data from three large population studies involving 133, 468 men and women followed for up to 24 years found that eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables is linked to modest weight loss. These benefits were strongest for berries, apples and pears, citrus fruits, tofu and soy, cauliflower and other calciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and leafy vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and peas did not convey these same benefits.

PositiveTip: Focus on eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables every day.

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Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Less than a third of pregnant American women experience healthy weight gain.

Researchers have found more than 2/3 of pregnant women in the U.S. gain too much weight or too little weight during their pregnancy. Only 32% of pregnant ladies experienced appropriate weight gain, while 48% were excessive, and 20% were inadequate. Those obese or overweight before pregnancy had the highest risk of excessive gain, and those underweight the highest risk of inadequate gain.

PositiveTip: If you are pregnant, visit the Institute of Medicine website to find valuable guidance on a healthy weight.

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Mediterranean-style Diet Wins Again

Using more plant foods gave firefighters a big benefit.

Researchers studied almost 800 U.S. firefighters for 5 years, gathering information on how closely they followed a Mediterranean-style diet along with specific health risk factors. Those who followed this diet most closely had a 35% lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 43% lower risk of gaining weight, compared to the least conforming. Consuming more fruits and vegetables and not eating fried foods and sugary drinks yielded positive dividends.

PositiveTip: Make wholesome choices in your diet today to improve and support good health.

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Teen Weight Gain Raises Risk of Diabetes

The trajectory for weight gain in earlier years influences diabetes risk.

Gaining weight during the teen years and early 20s has been found to be associated with an increased risk of diabetes in adulthood. This longitudinal cohort study revealed the timing of the weight gain also influenced the risk. 

PositiveTip: Maintain a healthy weight with healthy eating habits and daily physical activity to reduce risk of diabetes--and other diseases, too.

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Restriction of Sweetened Drinks Leads to Weight Loss

Curtailing the consumption of sugary drinks contributes to weight loss.

A randomized trial conducted in Boston has found that obese adolescents lost weight when they drank water or non-caloric beverages instead of sugary drinks or 100% fruit juice. The non-caloric beverages were delivered to the kids homes for one year. Two year differences were negilible, suggesting that many returned to sugary drinks.

PositiveTip: Calories from sugar-laden drinks make a difference for adolescents (and probably adults, too).

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Cut the Sugary Drinks to Cut the Weight

Replacing sugar-sweetened drinks with sugar-free drinks leads to smaller weight gains.

The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been associated with being overweight, as they tend not to give a feeling of satiety. In an 18-month randomized trial of children 5-12 years old, Dutch researchers have found that substituting sugar-free drinks for sugary drinks led to significantly smaller weight gains. They noted that U.S. children consume almost 3 times more calories from sugary drinks as the Dutch children.

PositiveTip: Sugar-free beverages, especially water, should be the drink of choice for children (and adults too).

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Fit or Fat? Breast Cancer Risk

Two hours of daily exercise seems to lower breast cancer risk by 30%.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina have found that women who are highly active--whether walking, running or anything inbetween--appear to be significantly protected from breast cancer. Those who exercised 2 hours on most days had 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who got little or no activity. They also found that substantial post-menopausal weight gain seemed to reduce the benefits of regular exercise.

PositiveTip: Reduce your risk of breast cancer by engaging in some form of physical activity daily.

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It's the Calories, not the Protein

If you eat too much, your body will pack on the fat no matter how much protein.

Weight-stable patients living in an inpatient clinic for 10-12 weeks who overate by 954 kcal per day on low-protein diets, gained less weight than those who ate the same amount on normal- or high-protein diets. But they all gained a similar amount of fat. The protein level of the diet did not affect the amount of fat each patient stored.

PositiveTip: Avoid eating excess calories: they will increase the fat you store no matter how much protein you eat.

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High Fat, Sugar Intake Tilts Hormones Toward Weight Gain

High fat and sugar intake may change hormone secretion toward weight gain.

Diets with higher levels of fat and sugar appear to change hormone levels in favor of weight gain. Consuming high fat and sugar foods increases insulin and ghrelin, two hormones that are related to weight gain while decreasing leptin, which aids in weight loss.

PositiveTip: Consuming a vegetarian or Mediterranean type diet can aid efforts to lose weight.

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Poor Sleep and Weight Gain

Sleep problems likely contribute to excess weight gain.

A number of studies have shown that sleep-deprived children and adults are more likely to gain excess weight. Finnish researchers followed 7322 men and women age 60 and over for seven years. After adjusting for confounding factors, they found that 1/3 of women who experienced frequent sleep problems gained at least 11 pounds.

PositiveTip: To make consistently wise choices, we need regular and consistent rest and sleep.