Don’t just eat in moderation, make better food choices, HSPH researcher says

Eating in moderation, cutting calories, and avoiding fatty foods isn’t enough to prevent weight gain; rather, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating as well, a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) professor said August 3 in separate interviews on two National Public Radio programs.

Dariush Mozaffarian, HSPH associate professor of epidemiology, spoke both to Boston-based WBUR’s Robin Young on the show Here and Now and to Neil Conan on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation about his recent research indicating that certain foods—like potato chips, sugar-sweetened drinks, red meats, and processed meats—are linked with long-term weight gain. And he described how other foods, like nuts and whole grains, can make you feel fuller over the course of a day and thus lower your overall food intake.

As Mozaffarian told Young, “Nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains have an intact food structure. It takes time to chew them and digest them. If you increase the intake of these foods, they’re likely to make you feel full longer. And at the end of the day, you’ll have eaten just a little bit less.”

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Changes in Specific Dietary Factors May Have Big Impact on Long-Term Weight Gain (HSPH release)