We eat more, exercise less during winter months

January 4, 2006 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Sports Nutrition and Exercise, Weight Management

We eat more, exercise less during winter months
New study findings support what most have long suspected. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School have found that people�s eating habits vary according to the season, with people eating more during the fall and winter. Body weight and physical activity levels appeared to follow the same trend with most participants.

Researchers examined seasonal variations in three areas: food intake, physical activity, and body weight. At the beginning of the study, researchers recorded the participants\' body weight and reported dietary and exercise levels during the previous 24-hours. Similar information was recorded on a quarterly basis during a one-year study period.

Among the nearly 600 participants, calorie intake was the highest during the fall season, consuming 86 kilocalories more per day than during the spring, when their calorie intake was lowest.

Body weight was found to fluctuate by about one pound throughout the yearlong study period, but was the highest during the winter season, when participants reported participating in the least amount of physical activity. The highest level of physical activity was reported during the spring.

The findings reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition stressed both the importance of balancing the number of calories consumed versus the number of calories burned and the importance of consuming a balanced diet.

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