"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Holiday weight gain is a world trend, study shows.

The research we're .

Photo: Monkey Business Images/Thinkstock

The holidays we have fun may vary between countries, but many share one characteristic—eating quite a lot of certain foods. An international team of researchers decided to see if holiday cheer is related to normal weight gain. They studied Thanksgiving within the United States, Easter in Germany, and Golden Week in Japan (April 29 to May 5), in addition to people celebrating Christmas in all three countries.

Researchers followed 2,924 adults over the age of 40 for one 12 months. About a 3rd of the German and American participants and a few quarter of the Japanese were women. Participants weighed themselves day by day using “smart scales,” which transmitted readings to a pc log.

The team found that in all three countries, participants weighed about 0.5 percent more 10 days after Christmas than 10 days before. Volunteers also gained a mean of 0.2% to 0.3% over other holidays. This study was published on September 22, 2016. New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers warn that folks retain about half of their holiday weight. Even if the gain is comparatively small—a mean of 1 or two kilos for the participants on this study—the kilos can add up over time.

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