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A June 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows what foods are the worst for gaining weight, and what foods are the best for losing weight.


A Harvard University study examined different foods eaten by 120,877 men and women from the United States over a span of 12 to 20 years. The researchers also looked at lifestyles of these people.

The title of the June 23, 2011 article is 'Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men' (N Engl J Med 2011; 364:2392-2404).

It was authored by Drs. Dariush Mozaffarian, Tao Hao, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu.

Their results found that the following foods caused the most weight gain of the people studied:

1.    potato chips (1.69 lb)
2.    potatoes (1.28 lb)
3.    sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb)
4.    unprocessed red meats (0.95 lb)
5.    processed meats (0.93 lb)

The foods that caused loss of weight were the following:

1.    vegetables (−0.22 lb)
2.    whole grains (−0.37 lb)
3.    fruits (−0.49 lb)
4.    nuts (−0.57 lb)
5.    yogurt (−0.82 lb)

Page two talks about what lifestyle changes causes the most changes (good and bad) in weight.

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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