It’s not just salt, sugar, fat: Study finds ultra-processed foods drive weight gain

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An example of one of the study’s ultra-processed lunches consists of quesadillas,
refried beans and diet lemonade. Participants on this diet ate an average of 508 calories
more per day and gained an average of 2 pounds over two weeks.

Over the past 70 years, ultra-processed foods have come to dominate the U.S. diet. These are foods made from cheap industrial ingredients and engineered to be super-tasty and generally high in fat, sugar and salt.

The rise of ultra-processed foods has coincided with growing rates of obesity, leading many to suspect that they’ve played a big role in our growing waistlines. But is it something about the highly processed nature of these foods itself that drives people to overeat? A new study suggests the answer is yes.

The study, conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, is the first randomized, controlled trial to show that eating a diet made up of ultra-processed foods actually drives people to overeat and gain weight compared with a diet made up of whole or minimally processed foods. Study participants on the ultra-processed diet ate an average of 508 calories more per day and ended up gaining an average of 2 pounds over a two-week period. People on the unprocessed diet, meanwhile, ended up losing about 2 pounds on average over a two-week period.

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Brain scans can predict who will gain weight or have sex in the next 6 months

brain scan

Women whose nucleus accumbens reacts strongly to pictures of appealing food are more likely to gain weight in the next six months.

The activity in the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain associated with reward, can predict who will gain weight or have sex in the next six months, according to new research.

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Women Who Gain Too Much Weight During Pregnancy Raise Child’s Obesity Risk

ChubbyBaby

High birth weight babies increase a child’s risk of becoming obese.

Women who gain a lot of weight during pregnancy are more likely to have high-birth-weight babies, which may increase the children’s risk of becoming obese later in life, a new study suggests.The findings add to growing evidence of the importance of appropriate weight gain during pregnancy.

 

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