Watching your weight over the holidays? Not much to watch in N.D., MinnesotaDon’t start pigging out on the holiday goodies yet, but for one reason or another, North Dakotans and, to some extent, Minnesotans just don’t gain much weight over the holiday season. North Dakota is No. 46, with residents gaining an average of 0.6 pounds each in December. Minnesota is No. 40, with average gains of 0.66 pounds.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
Don’t start pigging out on the holiday goodies yet, but for one reason or another, North Dakotans and, to some extent, Minnesotans just don’t gain much weight over the holiday season.
WeightTraining.com, a fitness website, analyzed some national data and has come out with rankings for states where holiday weight gain are the greatest.
North Dakota is No. 46, with residents gaining an average of 0.6 pounds each in December. Minnesota is No. 40, with average gains of 0.66 pounds.
No. 1 was Texas, with average gains of 1.17 pounds. No. 50 was Massachusetts, with average gains of 0.49 pounds.
Why is this significant?
It’s commonly believed that people gain the most weight over the holidays and spend the rest of the year trying to work it off, the New England Journal of Medicine said in a 2000 article. Because obesity is often very difficult to reverse, knowing when weight gain often occurs helps in the development of strategies to combat obesity.
Does weight gain occur steadily over the course of a year, or does it spike during the holidays? In other words, when should you pay extra attention to weight gain?
The NEJM article suggests most people need not put such emphasis over the holidays.
WeightTraining.com said it’s a no brainer why you might gain weight over the holidays: You eat more — consider the turkey coma you put yourself in over Thanksgiving or the smorgasbord of sweets at many work places — but you have fewer exercise opportunities — many people travel to see family or, if at home, spend more time with family rather than exercising.
The NEJM article, cited by WeightTraining.com, said that, in a study of a group of 195 volunteers, it found most believe they gained more weight over the holidays than they actually did. In fact, they didn’t gain significantly more weight than at other times of year.
For obese people though, the study found that weight gain did intensify over the holidays.
The article said the study group was limited and would benefit from a larger sampling of the general population.
Obesity is a growing problem in North Dakota and Minnesota, as it is in the rest of the country.
In the last 10 years, the number of North Dakotan adults who qualify as obese has grown from 12.1 percent of the population in 1991 to 27.9 percent of the population this year, according to the America’s Health Rankings website.
For Minnesota, the change was from 10.2 percent to 25.4 percent over the same period.
Nationwide, the change was from 11.6 percent to 27.5 percent over the same period.
Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.