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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

To Your Health: Holiday Pounds Can Have Lasting Effects

Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Did you know that on average, Americans gain a little over a pound in the week following Christmas? Would it make you feel better if I told you so do Germans and the Japanese? Misery loves company. And fudge.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in September that found Americans aren’t the only ones who put on weight during celebratory times. But, a report in Nutrition Review suggests that pounds Americans gain can have long lasting effects: weight gain during the holiday season may be an important contributor to the rising prevalence of obesity.

But how do we take the weight back off? Or prevent it from getting there in the first place?  Dr.  Michael Dansinger from Tufts University School of Medicine suggests weighing yourself twice a week to keep on track. Dr. Tim Church, as obesity expert advises trying to get at least fifteen minutes of exercise each day. Dieticians suggest that rather than trying to say no to all holiday treats, just indulge in the ones you love the most. Try taking  three bites of a dessert instead of denying yourself or polishing off the whole serving. Because the most weight gain happens in the week following Christmas, make sure that you don’t keep a lot of party leftovers to nosh on.

And, if your favorite pants are still a little tight after the new year, don’t take drastic measures with a fad diet. Cathy Nonas, a researcher at the New York Obesity Research Center advises simply substituting one 300-calorie meal for a usual meal, so you can cut as many as 500 calories a day—and lose 1 pound in a week.


Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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