You Gain 5 to 10 Pounds During the Holidays
It starts with the Halloween candy that stays around for weeks. Then there is the feast on Thanksgiving Day, and eventually the incessant eating and drinking at the end of December, not to mention all that extra time on the couch.
With all the opportunities to gorge and laze around over the holidays, it is little surprise that conventional wisdom suggests that the average person will pack on at least five pounds this season.
In reality, though, studies show that most people will gain far less. The only problem is that the holidays probably account for much of a person’s annual weight gain over the course of a lifetime.
According to most studies on the subject, the average person gains one to two pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. One of the most recent and thorough studies to examine the idea, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, followed a diverse group of about 200 adults, half men.
The researchers found that from early October to late February the subjects gained an average of 1.05 pounds, 75 per cent of that from Thanksgiving to January 1.
Those who were the most active had the least gain, and those who were already overweight gained the most.
But only 10 per cent of people gained more than five pounds. Another study carried out at Tufts had similar results.
A pound does not sound like much. But because a typical adult gains one to two pounds a year, the holiday pound has significant long-term effects.
Most people gain about one pound over the holidays.