Digest Weight management

Yogurt, weight and curves



This Digest is all about #Yogurt and #WeightManagement
Discover the first episode!

Overweight and obesity are vital, global, public health issues. According to the World Health Organization, obesity has more than doubled worldwide since 1980, and in 2014, 39% of adults were overweight and 13% were obese (Figures 1 and 2) (1).


Figure 1: Worldwide prevalence of overweight and obesity in 2014 (1).


Figure 2: Obesity and overweight prevalence increase in adults and children between 1980 and 2013 (2).

Obesity not only has serious implications for individuals’ health and well-being (see Figure 3), but for health services and the wider economy. So, why do we have an obesity crisis? Is a simple case of us eating more and moving less?


Figure 3: Health implications of overweight and obesity.

Changes in eating habits and physical activity patterns, as a result of wider environmental and societal changes have been proposed as key factors behind the obesity epidemic. We appear to be eating more foods that are lower in nutrients and higher in energy density, our portion sizes have grown, and we’re increasingly eating outside the home – which often means exposure to higher calorie foods (2, 3). The displacement of nutrient rich foods and drinks with nutrient-poor items may be influencing childhood obesity, which in turn impacts adulthood obesity (4-6). Add to this the fact that we’re working in a more sedentary capacity and we begin to see a pattern of association between the rise in obesity and lifestyle changes.

Obesity is complex, but in our food-filled environment, any eating pattern that can give weight management a helping hand could be beneficial for people of all ages. For example, eating more yogurt, nuts, fruit, whole grains or vegetables was associated with gaining less weight over a 4 year period amongst 120,000 adults, followed up for more than 16 years – with the association being strongest for yogurt (0.82lb less weight gain for each additional serving per day) (7).



  1. WHO facts http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/.
  2. Kant AK. Consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods by adult Americans: nutritional and health implications. The third National Helath and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 72(4):929-36.
  3. Institute for Health Metrics and Evalution, Global burden of disease 2013. http://www.healthdata.org/infographic/obesity-and-overweight-increasing-worldwide.
  4. Frary CD et al. Children and adolescents’ choices of foods and beverages high in added sugars are associated with intakes of key nutrients and food groups. Journal of Adolescent Health 2004; 34(1):56–63
  5. Ballew C et al. Nutrient intakes and dietary patterns of young children by dietary fat intakes. J Pediatr 2000; 136:181–187.
  6. Bowman SA, et al. Effects of fast-food consumption on energy intake and diet quality among children in a national household survey. Pediatrics 2004; 113:112-132.
  7. Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. NEJM 2011; 364(25):2392-404.

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