Research submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine*, (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1602012#t=article) confirms what we already suspected – most Americans will gain weight over the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. The Big Trifecta! That’s the time when we consume all our favorite foods. Though the estimated 1.3 pounds we gain doesn’t seem like much, it is extremely difficult to shed during the winter months. But, don’t panic! The reasons vary, but seem to point to overeating and the time of the year. The research included three countries (Germany, Japan and the United States), and 2,924 men and women. Besides just a celebratory atmosphere and an abundance of rich foods during the holidays, the experts see the retention of the weight as the real problem. They have identified a sort of a depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as one of the culprits. As the months become more cold and dark (less sunlight) many of us seek comfort through food. Another contributing factor is our lack of activity during the winter months. Though some Americans embrace their outdoor winter sports, many of us would rather curl up with a good book and wait for it to warm up or dry out. The sedentary lifestyle prevents us from burning off the calories we ingest.
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*The New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; 375-1200-1202/ September 22, 2016, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1602012. Authors: Elina E. Helander, Ph.D., Brian Wansink, Ph.D., and Angela Chieh, M.S.