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Weight Gain Study
Holiday Weight Gain Less than Expected
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Weight Gain Study Results

The researchers also found that study volunteers believed that they had gained much more weight than they actually had over the holidays, overestimating their weight gain by slightly more than 3 pounds. Fewer than 10 percent of subjects gained more than 5 pounds over the holiday season. However, Dr. Yanovski added, overweight and obese volunteers were more likely to gain five pounds than were those who were not overweight, which suggests that the holiday season may present special risks for those who are already overweight.

"Although an average holiday weight gain of less than a pound may seem unimportant, that weight was not lost over the remainder of the year," Dr. Yanovski said. When 165 of the study volunteers were weighed a year after the study began, they had not lost the extra weight gained during the holidays, and ended the year a pound and a half heavier (1.4 lb) than they were the year before.

"This is a 'good news/bad news' story," said Dr. Yanovski. "The good news is that people don't gain as much weight as we thought during the holidays. The bad news is that weight gained over the winter holidays isn't lost during the rest of the year."

The knowledge that people actually accumulate a large proportion of their yearly weight gain over the winter holiday season, the researchers added, may prove useful in treating overweight and obesity.

See also:

1. Obesity & Weight Gain
2. Obesity Study Method
3. Obesity Study Results
4. Weight Gain Study

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