What's Making You Fat?

Julie Ryan Evans

Flickr Photo by danperry.com
Sure, Krispy Kreme donuts could be a culprit, but beyond the obvious, there are some other factors you might not realize are making you fat.

Take alcohol, for example. Of course, it adds extra calories to one's diet, but a recent study shows the more alcohol people consume, the poorer their food choices. Researchers found that drinkers eat more fat and sugar and consume fewer fruits and whole grains.

Totally makes sense as I can't recall ever making a light night salad run, but I may have made a run for Taco Bell's border on more than one occasion after imbibing. 

And once, again, that fun-stifling, but health-promoting word is the takeaway: Moderation.

"Our findings underscore the importance of moderation for individuals who choose to consume alcoholic beverages, and a greater awareness of healthy food choices among such individuals," said Rosalind A. Breslow, an epidemiologist for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Another possible contributor to your expanding waistline? Your job. According to another recent study, chronic job stress and a lack of activity are strongly linked to obesity -- so strongly linked that not even a healthy diet can combat them.

Researchers found that after a stress-filled day workers reported coming home and "vegging out," and that when layoffs were imminent, the snacks highest in fat and calories were purchased most often from the vending machine. They also found that some workers didn't use their lunch break for exercise or to eat a healthy meal because they were afraid of being gone from their desk for too long.

"In a poor economy, companies should take care of the people who survive layoffs and end up staying in stressful jobs," said Diana Fernandez, lead author of the study. "It is important to focus on strengthening wellness programs to provide good nutrition, ways to deal with job demands, and more opportunities for physical activity that are built into the regular workday without penalty."

So in light of these two studies, you may really be in trouble if you drink at your stressful job!

What do you feel contributes most to your weight gain?

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