A new study has revealed that increased consumption of non-starchy vegetables and fruits is inversely related to weight change. However, the longitudinal study shows differences that occur with the types of fruit and vegetable, proposing that the characteristics of these foods significantly influence their strength of inducing weight-related changes.
The study, conducted by Monica Bertoia of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, along with colleagues, was published in PLOS Medicine.
How To Maintain Your Weight: Novel Dietary Guidelines for Americans
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), children and adults should include a variety of vegetables and fruits in their diet to achieve and sustain a healthy weight. In this study, researchers examined links between the discrepancies in intake of certain fruits and vegetables, recorded via dietary questionnaires and self-reported changes in weight. They followed 133,468 US men and women for 24 years in the Nurses’ Health Study, Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study II.
After adjusted for self-reported differences and other lifestyle factors (smoking, physical activity), it was observed that the intake of vegetables and fruits was inversely associated with 4-y weight change; -0.53 lb (-0.24 kg) for every extra serving of fruit taken daily, and -0.25 lb (-0.11 kg) for every extra serving of vegetables taken daily. However, for starchy vegetables, such as peas and corn, the statistics were somewhat different.
Conclusions By The Researchers: Food That Actually Helps You Maintain Your Weight
Certain aspects of the study might make it difficult to generalize the findings – all participants were well-educated, and the dietary questionnaires and self-reported weight measurements could have introduced errors. Nevertheless, the large sample size and follow-up time demonstrate consistent results for all the three parameters – fruits, vegetables and starchy vegetables respectively.
“Our results support the benefits associated with increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables for preventing long-term weight gain. They also provide further food-specific guidelines for the prevention of obesity, which is a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancers, and many other health conditions”.