Short-term binge eating linked to long-term weight gain

August 26, 2010 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Short-term binge eating linked to long-term weight gain
Surprising new study findings are showing that a short period of excess food consumption can have long-term effects on your body weight and fat storage even after the initial weight is lost.

A study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism has found that a four-week episode of increased energy intake and decreased exercise can cause increased weight and fat mass more than two years later when compared to control individuals.

To investigate, Swedish researchers studied 18 individuals who had excessive food consumption to increase their energy intake by an average of 70% for four weeks.

A separate control group ate and exercised as normal.

The intervention group gained an average of 14 pounds, which was mostly lost 6 months later. However, one year later the intervention group showed an increased fat mass compared to baseline; the differences were even greater after two and a half years.

Researchers note that the long-term difference in body weight in the intervention and control groups suggests that there is an extended effect on fat mass after a short period of large food consumption and minimal exercise.

The study provides interesting new evidence to suggest that even a short period of excessive eating and a lack of exercise can potentially change an individual's physiology, causing it to be harder to lose and keep off weight.

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