article A new study finds that it’s not just the popular media that can be a boon for weight loss.
The results from the University of Pennsylvania Health Center’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included more than 2,500 adults ages 20 and over, suggest that the average person who takes the time to make healthy food choices is more likely to maintain weight loss than someone who is just trying to lose weight.
The study, published online today in the journal PLOS ONE, analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative sample of people ages 18 and older that was completed every two years from 2006 to 2012.
“We’re all using food, whether it’s junk food or healthy food, to lose a lot of weight,” said lead author Sarah Gertner, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Penn.
“The fact that we’re using a food that we like to eat and feel good about eating, that we can eat and that we know that we’ll have a good effect on our health, that’s a huge benefit.”
This study was done by analyzing the food choices of a sample of Americans who were asked how they used food.
The findings, which were based on the responses of 5,500 Americans ages 20 to 74, were not entirely surprising.
The majority of the people who said they used healthy foods were in the upper-middle class, and those who said that they were trying to maintain a healthy weight were in lower-income and minority communities.
But when the researchers looked at people who were trying only to lose pounds, they found that the majority of those people had a healthy diet.
“If you’re trying to get a good, balanced diet, you have to make some healthy choices,” Gertmer said.
“When you’re making a bad choice, you’re not necessarily going to make a good choice.”
A diet rich in vegetables and whole grains is a huge contributor to weight loss, she added.
People who eat foods high in fiber and healthy fats are at greater risk of weight loss when they are trying to drop pounds.
When they are eating foods high at the waist, people are less likely to lose fat.
A diet that includes some fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products is a better option for weight maintenance, said Gertsner.
“It’s the combination of the healthy food and the low-calorie choices that makes a difference,” she said.
Gertnner also points out that many people have a negative view of dieters who are overweight or obese, saying that they think dieters are taking a shortcut to health or have an unhealthy attitude toward the weight loss process.
“There’s a lot that’s positive in dieting, but it’s really just a combination of a diet, exercise, and health,” Gervin said.
Researchers say they found a link between health behaviors and weight loss in the study.
For instance, people who ate more than 30 calories a day were less likely than people who did not to lose their weight, and people who exercise daily were more likely than those who did no exercise to maintain their weight loss for longer periods of time.
These findings suggest that dieters, and indeed any person who is trying to reduce weight, should do some research before they make a major dietary change.
“I think a lot people are looking at their weight and not thinking, ‘Hey, I’m losing weight,'” Gert said.