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Study Suggests that Overweight Adults Eat Less Often


A US study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association has determined that overweight individuals eat less often on a daily basis than people of normal body weight. However, they still consume more calories and lead a more sedentary lifestyle.

The researchers noted that adults of normal weight including those people, who had undergone and maintained significant weight loss, are actually eating more frequently throughout the day.

The researchers were especially interested in the eating habits of individuals who were successful at losing weight and keeping it off. Up until now, the relationship between weight loss and frequency of eating has been imprecise.

It is estimated that more than 60 percent of US residents are either overweight or obese. Many struggle to lose weight only to gain the pounds back later.

The researchers followed 250 people for a period of one year, dividing the participants according to their body mass index (BMI). One study focused on individuals who were overweight or obese, while the other study examined the eating habits of people considered to be of normal weight.

The participants of normal weight generally consumed 3 meals and 2 snacks per day, whereas the overweight group ate less often, eating on average 3 meals and only one daily snack. The big difference between the 2 groups involved the number of calories consumed.

The researchers determined that the fewest number of calories (approximately 1,800 per day) were taken in by those individuals who had undergone and maintained their weight loss. People of normal weight had a daily intake of around 1,900 calories, whereas overweight participants were noted to eat around 2,000 calories per day.

In addition to this, the people who had maintained their weight loss and were the most successful at keeping the pounds off were the most physically active when compared to the others.

The researchers concluded that fewer calories consumed through a greater number of meals and snacks resulted in less intense hunger and provided optimal nutrition for losing and maintaining weight. Participants were more likely to overeat (and consume a large number of calories) when they had missed meals.