By Jamie Leach
The study is based on data from more than 136,000 nurses and health professionals who were 65 years old or younger,
and regularly shared their medical history and eating habits in a series of surveys starting in the 1970s and ‘80s. They were followed for at least 24 years.
The participants gained an average of more than 3 pounds every four years. Over 24 years, that added up to an almost 20-pound gain, on average.
The participants updated their information every two to four years, so the researchers looked at how self-reported changes in their diet over time affected their weight.
Fiber-rich “slow carbs,” found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, take longer to digest, cause a slower rise in blood sugar and help people feel full.
Starch from refined grains and starchy vegetables was slightly more strongly associated with weight gain than the same amount of added sugar.