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November 21, 2011

Eat Healthy Monday

According to a study published by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in 2000 in The New England Journal of Medicine, the average American gains about 0.8 lbs. during the six-week period between Thanksgiving and New Year's. While these gains may not seem drastic, this weight adds up year after year, and thus helps stimulate the significant increase in body weight that typically comes with age. Moreover, this weight gain is even worse for individuals who are already overweight and contributes to the growing obesity epidemic.

Maintaining healthy habits may seem challenging at times, especially with all of the enticing lures of the season. However, healthy holiday habits can help you enjoy the festivities of the holiday season without sacrificing your health.

As Sara N. Bleich, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, says, “To avoid gaining weight during the holiday season, eat all of your favorites but do so in moderation. Also, try healthier versions of the foods you love such as eggnog with skim milk or dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. ”

Here are a few more tips to consider this holiday season:

Every Monday, the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project, part of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, offers tips for preventing disease and injury, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Check back each week for new tips or visit our archive.