A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine detailed a correlation between diet and lifestyle changes and increased risk of long-term weight gain in adults. Involving 120,877 US women and men who were not obese at the beginning of the study and who had no long term health problems, the association between changes in lifestyle and weight were observed at 4-year intervals1. Over each 4-year period, participants were seen to gain an average of 3.35 lb.
This weight gain was on the basis of increased dietary intake, specifically crisps (a weight gain of +1.69 lb), chips or potatoes (+1.28 lb), sugar-sweetened beverages (+1.00 lb), unprocessed red meats (+0.95 lb), and processed meats (+0.93 lb)1. In contrast, an increased intake of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and yoghurt were inversely associated with weight gain.
Other lifestyle factors were also assessed such as physical activity levels, alcohol intake, smoking, amount of sleep and time spent watching television. All determined varying small degrees of weight gain.