According to new research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, how often we eat does potentially haven an impact on whether or not we are at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. You might think that people who eat more often are the ones in the study that weighed more. If so, you may be surprised to know the details of this research.
The researchers followed 250 people for a year and conducted two studies. One study tracked the eating habits of the participants that had a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 25 and 47 (overweight to obese). The second study looked at participants who had BMIs between 19 and 24.9 (normal).
What they found, as strange as it may sound, is that the normal weight participants ate more frequently (3 meals plus at least 2 snacks per day) than the overweight and obese participants (3 meals plus 1 snack per day). Although the normal weight participants ate more often, what is notable is that they consumed fewer calories over the course of each day. While the normal weight participants consumed about 1,800 calories per day, the overweight participants consumed 1,900 calories per day and the obese participants consumed greater than 2,000 calories per day. The researchers speculate that this happens because eating something more often keeps you from experiencing extreme hunger which might cause you to eat more.
An additional finding was that the normal weight participants burned about 3,000 calories per week through exercise while the overweight and obese participants burned only 2,000 and 800, respectively. So, in summary, the normal weight participants consumed more frequent meals that contained fewer calories in general and they moved more.
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