Too Many Obese Americans

1479 Words6 Pages
INTRODUCTION In the U.S. alone, 34.9% of adults are obese (1) and over 100 million Americans are dieters who make 4-5 dieting attempts per year (2). To meet the demand for effective, sustainable weight loss methods, a plethora of weight loss approaches (e.g. “fad diets”, pharmacotherapy, bariatric surgery) are constantly emerging on the market. One weight loss theory that has received particular attention is increased meal or eating frequency. Increased MF refers to any eating pattern where 3 meals (m) plus one or more snacks (s) are consumed per day. In 1964 Fabry et al. randomly selected and surveyed a group of 179 males regarding their eating habits (3). Subjects were then divided into groups based upon the number of meals they consumed per day. Skinfold thickness measurements were taken to determine body fat percentage. Fabry et al. found that as meal frequency (MF) increased, the percentage of overweight subjects decreased within each study group (3). Since that time, the correlation between increased MF and weight loss has become a highly debated topic in weight loss or maintenance. Researchers theorize that frequent smaller meals throughout the day may improve hunger regulation, weight control, and dietary adherence (4, 5). Reduced glycemic load, improved glucose control, and insulin metabolism have additionally been attributed to increased MF (5). In contrast, other weight loss theories encourage the elimination of snacking between meals to prevent
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