Happy Holi-daze! (Climate of Health)

A recent story on CNN.com focused on a few long-held holiday health myths and whether they are cause for concern now that December is here. Right at the top of the list…..gaining weight. How much weight do we really gain during the holidays?

According to the story:

During the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, adults gained about 0.8 pounds, according to a 2000 study published in Nutrition Review.

In the study, 14% of overweight and obese individuals gained more than five pounds during the holiday. In the abstract, the researchers wrote, “holiday weight gain may be an important contributor to the rising prevalence of obesity, even though absolute values for weight gain in this study were less than anticipated.”

A story in the Huffington Post looked at several studies and concluded there is often “minimal weight increases during the holiday period. This doesn’t mean that a person can’t gain weight during the holidays — only that people shouldn’t assume that it’s inevitable.”

Over the next several weeks, you will likely see a lot of ‘tips’ to help you avoid packing on the holiday pounds. For example, Consumer Affairs is offering 10 rules to live by during the holidays that include:

  • Don’t skip meals before a party or family dinner—the “saving to splurge” strategy doesn’t usually work,
  • Avoid going to a party hungry, and
  • Choose a smaller plate if you have a choice.

The New York Daily News points to a New England Journal of Medicine study that suggests the average American gains about one pound during the holidays, but adds that the weight typically sticks around. What do you think about all the ‘holiday weight gain’ talk? Is it more myth than truth? Share your thoughts with us!

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