A new university study has a rather interesting advice for all of us: don't immediately blame the high-fat, high-sugar food and drink for being overweight.
A team of researchers from Cornell University led by the university's Center for Behavioral Economics co-director David Just found out that there's not much difference between the how much of bad food being eaten by both normal and overweight people. The main problem, according to the study, is actually portion control.
In other words, Americans are eating more than what's ideal for their body. Couple that with a lack of exercise, and you get the perfect combination for obesity.
Just and Brian Wansink, who also works in the university as the director of its food and brand lab, went over huge amounts of data that were a part of a nutrition examination survey conducted between 2007 and 2008. Overall, they reviewed the information provided by at least 5,000 adult men and women in the United States.
Based on the results, there's no significant link between weight gain and consumption of bad food, which can include fast food and candy, among more than 90% of the population. The difference, however, becomes clear when data are analyzed in a broader perspective-that is, when comparing data of underweight and morbidly obese subjects. The study says that these people tend to eat fewer nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and fruits but consume a lot of the bad food.
But before you stuff your fridge with all your favorite candy bars, potato chips, and soda, the researchers strongly remind everyone that these types of food are still sinful and continue to be harmful to the body simply because they're lacking nutrition. Just also recommends that Americans begin to exercise portion control and increase their level of physical activity to combat the effects of junk food in the body.
The entire study is now available in Obesity Science & Practice.