Obesity and Snacking Between Meals

Obesity is a rising problem, and there is plenty of conflicting information available about avoiding it.

A new research survey out of Spain indicates that snacking between meals can increase one’s risk of becoming obese.

The University of Navarra’s Department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health conducted a survey of more than 10,000 college graduates for more than four years. The survey included 136 questions about eating habits, and all the participants were weighed before and during the course of the study.

According to the findings, participants who snacked between meals showed a 69 percent increased risk of becoming obese later on.

Of course, these results had a lot to do with what they were snacking on. The heaviest eaters snacked on junk foods, soft drinks and processed meats – referred to as “high-density” snacks – rather than healthy items like fruits or vegetables. These unhealthy snack choices added as many as 300 calories in each sitting.

Adding the wrong snacks to three meals a day can often translate into weight gain, cravings for more of the same unhealthy foods, and a lack of energy, the researchers say. Occasional munchies between meals can be fine, they note, as long as you choose wisely.

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