Planning for a vacation? Be prepared for weight gain with a heavier midsection — extra weight that can hang around even six weeks post-vacation.
According to a latest study, researchers found that adults going on a one-to-three-week vacation gained an average weight of nearly one pound during their trip.
“If you’re only gaining a pound or two a year and you gained three-quarters of that on a one-to-three-week vacation, that’s a pretty substantial weight gain during a short period of time,” said Jamie Cooper, University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences in US.
The study supports the notion of “creeping obesity” — the common pattern of adults gaining small amounts of weight over long periods of time, leading to increased health problems later in life.
For the research, the study involved 122 adults between the ages of 18 and 65, who went on vacations ranging from one to three weeks in length between the months of March and August.
The participants agreed to three lab visits for height, weight and body mass index recordings, in addition to blood pressure and waist-to-hip ratio measurements.
The first measurements were taken one week prior to vacation, then again one week and six weeks post-vacation.
The study found that 61 percent of the participants gained weight while on vacation, with an average gain of 0.7 pounds, and that the weight gained throughout the entire study averaged 0.9 pounds.
There was a large variation, however, with some participants losing weight and some gaining as much as seven pounds.
One of the factors that likely contributed to weight gain for study participants was increased caloric intake, especially from alcohol consumption.
“Whether or not those positive changes in blood pressure and stress can overcome the negative health implications of gaining weight on vacation are yet to be determined,” Cooper noted.