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Monday 19th February 2018

Food binges affect body fat

27th August 2010

A new study conducted in Sweden has found that binging on food could lay down deposits of fat in the body which stay for a long time.


Once the weight has taken the form of fat, it is much harder to lose, according to scientists at Linkoping University.

The study followed people who gorged themselves on fast food for four weeks and did little exercise, finding that this group put on an average of 6.4 kg.

The increased levels of body fat were still there two years later, said the study, which was published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism.

A group of 18 adults with an average age of 26 had their physical activity limited to 5,000 steps a day, which is considered a sedentary lifestyle.

They increased their intake of energy-dense food by 70%.

While the study participants had managed to lose their average gain of 5 kg six months later, 12 months later, their weight had increased by 1.5 kg.

Fat mass among the participants was found to have increased by 1.4 kg, but non-fat mass had not increased along with it, the report said.

Two and a half years along, the average increase in body weight among the study subjects was 3.1 kg.

This compared with no change in body weight among a control group, which ate and exercised as normal for the course of the study.

Researchers concluded that even a short period of excessive eating and a lack of exercise can potentially change a person's physiology.

Such binges can make it harder to lose and keep off weight.

Lead author Asa Ernersson said that the long term difference in body weight in the intervention and control groups suggested that there was an extended effect on fat mass after a short period of large food consumption and minimal exercise.

She said the change of fat mass was larger than expected when compared to the controls.

Even short-term behavioural changes could have a long-lasting impact on health, Ernersson said.


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