A moment on the lips, a year on the hips

August 24, 2010

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 BioMed Central's open access 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.

Ĺsa Ernersson worked with a team of researchers from Linköping University Sweden to investigate the long term effects of a sedentary and gluttonous lifestyle. They capped the physical activity of 18 individuals and used 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 6.4 kg in , 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. Ernersson said "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 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. Ernersson summarised, "The change of was larger than expected when compared to the controls, it suggests that even short-term behavioural changes may have prolonged effects on health."

More information: Long-term increase of fat mass after a four week intervention with fast food based hyper-alimentation and limitation of physical activity, Asa Ernersson, Fredrik H Nystrom and Torbjorn Lindstrom, Nutrition & Metabolism (in press), www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Some breastfeeding advice worth ditching: US task force

October 25, 2016

A review of scientific evidence on breastfeeding out Tuesday found that some long-held advice is worth ditching, including that babies should avoid pacifiers and moms should breastfeed exclusively in the first days after ...

Sleep loss tied to changes of the gut microbiota in humans

October 25, 2016

Results from a new clinical study conducted at Uppsala University suggest that curtailing sleep alters the abundance of bacterial gut species that have previously been linked to compromised human metabolic health. The new ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.