The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Features

September 18, 2012

Fruits and veggies help older women keep weight off

NORMAN — Looks like eating more fruits and vegetables is the not-so-surprising secret to weight control for older women.

It’s a common complaint as waistlines widen with advancing birthdays, especially for post-menopausal women, who typically say, “I’m eating the same, but the numbers on the scale just keep creeping higher.” What’s not the same, unfortunately, is the body’s metabolic rate, which naturally slows down with age. Add to that a lifestyle that’s often less active and you’ve got the math to verify that calories-in vs. calories-out can move the scales in the wrong direction.

Sure, you can step up the exercise regime and vow never to order dessert again. But according to a new study of nearly 500 overweight women in their 50s and 60s, it’s what they were adding to their meals that ultimately helped them lose weight and keep it off.

Dr. Bethany Barone Gibbs and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh studied eating habits of women who lost weight over short term (six months) and long term (four years). The highly motivated dieters in the six-month group ate fewer desserts and fried foods, drank fewer sugar-sweetened beverages and ate more fish.

After four years, the women were still saying “no” to pie and soda fairly often, but the habit that emerged as the most powerful predictor for long-term weight loss was eating more fruits and vegetables, followed by eating less meat and cheese. Good news for Southerners: They weren’t necessarily skipping fried foods.

“People are so motivated when they start a weight-loss program,” said Barone Gibbs. “You can say, ‘I’m never going to eat another piece of pie,’ and you see the pounds coming off. Eating fruits and vegetables may not make as big a difference in your caloric intake. But that small change can build up and give you a better long-term result, because it’s not as hard to do as giving up french fries forever.” During the four-year study, the number of times dieters ate out in restaurants declined, but Barone Gibbs chalks that up to the downturn in the economy, not a sign that eating out less is linked to weight loss.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Couple with autistic children lead Thorn Bush Autism group

    For Leah and Christian Eisenbeis raising two children with Autism is not only a challenge but it’s been a blessing, too....

    April 20, 2014

  • Free pressure canner checks offered

    With warmer weather trying to get a grip on April’s temperatures, it’s time to get the dial on your pressure canner checked. This is a free service provided by the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman....

    April 20, 2014

  • Norman artist pledges to continue painting until colors fade

    About five or six months ago, I came across an article in The Norman Transcript about local artist Almira Hill Grammer, who had a display of her work at the State Capitol....

    April 20, 2014

  • ‘Blood moon’ rising

    I guess we all have one thing in common right now. We survived a “blood moon.” What a whirlwind of a week. It seemed that, like Hillary Clinton, the universe was just tossing shoes at me left and right. Maybe it was a sign I need to slow ...

    April 20, 2014

  • What to know about use of BVO

    Q: I’ve heard about Brominated vegetable oil recently. Could you provide some more information? A: Brominated vegetable oil, also called BVO, is a food additive that is often used to keep citrus flavor emulsified in sodas and sports ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Blessing opens demo garden

    A blustery, gray day didn’t mute enthusiasm for the first Saturday of the spring season April 12 at the Cleveland County Master Gardeners demo gardens and the Norman Farm Market....

    April 20, 2014

  • OHCE members receive awards

    Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education members Carol Doner and Megan Doner were award winners at a recent OHCE District meeting in Mustang....

    April 20, 2014

  • Book signing set

    Author Jerry Webster, of Edmond, will sign copies of his book, “What Brings a Soldier to His Knees,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings Books, 2300 W. Main St....

    April 20, 2014

  • DeLange receives Eagle Scout award

    Jacob DeLange, 15, a freshman at Norman North High School, recently earned his Eagle Scout award with Troop 285, Last Frontier Council....

    April 20, 2014

  • Parents urged to research ADHD

    Q: Our son has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and we have been told he may need social skills training. He is in third grade, and this is all very new and foreign. Do you know anything about this training, and what does this mean for his ...

    April 18, 2014