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Frequent eating doesn’t necessarily result in overweight

May
17

Date: May 17th, 2013

Weight gain in kids not always tied to frequent eatingThe recent finding that eating frequently in kids doesn’t necessarily result in overweight and obesity has surprised many people who have always associated overweight with excessive eating. Also, the study reported that kids who took more food in a day but well distributed in the course of the day recorded a lower weight increase, unlike children that followed the traditional style of three squares. While referring to 11 studies done previously, researchers from Greece reported that in overall, most children especially boys who ate more than the common three times per day had a relatively low weight compared to those who dined the usual three or even fewer meals. In addition, the likely hood of the keeps being obese or overweight was 22 percent less.

The caveats of the study

The findings provided evidence to the widely known theory that smaller meals can assist in weight control when they are spaced out properly over the entire day. However, Professor Alison Field was quick to point out that the report fell short of proving the cause and effect of its findings. While Alison did not take part in the research, he said that the main problem with the past 11 studies was that they were conducted at a specific time. For this reason, it is not easy to figure out whether the eating habits of the children started after gaining the extra pounds or not. Also, there was the concern that some kids could have cut their amount of eating after realizing that they were overweight.

Lack of conclusive evidence from the study

In order to come up with conclusive results, Field said that there is need for studies where the kids can be followed over a period of time. Even with this being the case, it would still be quite difficult to disentangle the importance of eating frequency on weight loss. Frequent eaters have higher chances of choosing to eat different foods unlike those eating less frequently. As such, there were some disputes on whether what mattered was what you eat or the eating frequency. Connie Diekman, a registered dietician also expressed his concern that the research never provided conclusive evidence that could support a concrete base for the arguments. Diekman also noted that there were so many other studies that had put forward the idea of frequent, smaller meals aiding in weight control but they never also provided sufficient evidence. As such, Diekman said that the study was trying to help people understand more about the link between weight and meal frequency, but the study didn’t provide a concrete answer for this. With the research also pointing some difference in results between boys and girls, Field noted that this still raised more questions on the ability of the research to provide concrete answers on the issue.

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