What’s On Your Kitchen Counter Affects Your Weight
We’ve all read about how our environment affects our weight. We’re quick to point to snacks at work, school lunches or fast-food as the cause of unwanted pounds. However, what most of us fail to grasp is that our “environment” includes our home.
Researchers have turned their attention to home kitchens to see whether having food out on the counter or table is associated with body weight. They recorded what foods were visible in the kitchen and asked participants to weigh themselves.
The study found that normal-weight participants were more likely to have fresh fruit and less likely to have soda out compared with obese participants.
Normal-weight women were also less likely to buy food in large packages and more likely to have a designated cupboard for keeping snack items out of sight. Women who kept fresh fruit on the kitchen counter weighed about 14 pounds (6 1/2 kilograms) less than women who didn’t.
Conversely, women who had breakfast cereal sitting on their counters weighed 20 pounds (about 9 kg) more than those who didn’t. Women who had diet or regular soda out weighed 24 to 26 pounds (about 11 to 12 kg) more than those who didn’t.
Men had different triggers. Men who had candy in sight in the kitchen were about 17 1/2 pounds (8 kg) heavier than men who didn’t. The visibility of baked goods (cookies, cakes, muffins) also correlated with a few extra pounds (around 1 kg) for men.