Archive for Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Study shows holiday weight gain sticks around

December 9, 2009


How much does the average person gain during the holiday season?

Research indicates that Americans are gaining an average of .4 to 1.8 pounds each year during their adult lives. Some of those pounds may be added during the holiday season.

A couple of research studies have shown the following results. In the March 2000 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the National Institutes of Health reported on a study of weight gain during the six-week interval between Thanksgiving and New Year's in 195 healthy volunteers. They found that the participants gained an average of 1.05 pounds by late February or March. That doesn't sound like much, but when the participants were weighed a year later, they still had not dropped that extra pound. The weight gain was greater among participants who were overweight or obese, with 14 percent gaining more than five pounds.

Another study, published in the Nutrition Journal in November of 2006, investigated Thanksgiving holiday weight gain among 94 college students. On the average, males gained 1.3 pounds, females gained .9 pounds, graduate students gained 1.8 pounds, and overweight or obese participants gained 2.2 pounds.

Why not try a "zero weight gain" campaign at work, home, or school this holiday season?

Q: Can you tell me how many calories are in alcohol?

A: Good question - especially this time of year! Let's remember that if you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly and in moderation - defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Alcohol beverages supply calories but few nutrients and may contribute to unwanted weight gain.

Here's a listing of the number of calories in alcohol:

Alcohol Serving Average (ounces) Calories


Regular (12) 149

Light (12) 110

Distilled spirits

80-proof gin, rum, (1.5) 98

Vodka, whiskey, tequila, brandy, cognac (1.5) 98

Liqueurs (1.5) 188


Red (5) 96

Dry white (5) 90

Sweet (5) 126

Sherry (2) 75

Port (2) 90

Champagne (4) 84

Vermouth, sweet (3) 140

Vermouth, dry (3) 105


Martini (traditional) (2.25) 124

Martini (extra dry) (2.25) 139

Cosmopolitan (2.75) 146

Mojito (6) 143

Margarita (4) 168

Pina Colada (9) 460

Manhattan (3.5) 164

Daquiri (4) 122

Whiskey sour (3) 122

  • Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.


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