010 For the Love of Thanksgiving – For the Love of Data

Holiday Weight Gain Studies

Studies are very mixed on whether holiday eating causes weight gain.

The Good1

  • In several studies over the last thirty-one years, subjects gained approximately 3/4 to 2 lbs. during the holiday season
  • However, in one study participants felt they had gained 4x as much weight as they actually gained
  • Two other key finding:
    • Although the amount of weight gained between the holidays was small, it represented the majority of the weight gained for the year
    • Weight gained between the holidays typically is not lost the next year (it represents the annual amount of increase for many people).

The Bad3

  • During “eating holidays”, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, participants consumed 14% more than on normal days
  • Some participants (outliers perhaps?) consumed over 900 calories more on special occasions than normal days
  • Obese individuals indulged at an even higher level during holidays

Other

  • Children tend to gain more weight over the summer when school is out than during the holidays2

Theme music for this month’s episode is “Turkey Time” by Monk Turner4.

Sources:

  1. http://letstalknutrition.com/holiday-weight-gain-separating-fact-from-fiction/
  2. http://www.hit107.com/news/feed/2016/11/study-reveals-the-time-of-year-child-obesity-rates-rise-the-most/
  3. http://acsh.org/news/2015/11/24/does-holiday-feasting-affect-obesity-rates
  4. http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Monk_Turner/Calendar/Monk_Turner_-_Calendar_-_11_Turkey_Time

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