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March 2011

Does Eating More Often Link to Weight Management Success?

You may have heard that eating more frequently throughout a day will help with weight control efforts. Is that true? Dr. Megan McCrory has been conducting research on this topic.  Is there an eating frequency that can be recommended to help people stay within their calorie requirements? There are several questions with the studies done to date and the conclusions that have been drawn. At first glance it might appear that there is a benefit to weight control of eating more frequently, but upon closer examination, we see that those findings are largely an artifact of dietary underreporting. Study after study shows that it is common for people to underreport the calories they actually consume, and there is a lesser tendency for leaner people to do this and a greater tendency for overweight people to do this. Therefore, in one study Dr. McCrory analyzed the data two ways – 1) with all participants (about 6500 people) and 2) with only those participants who reported a physiologically plausible calorie intake (about 2700 people). In the first analysis, there was no relationship between eating frequency and body mass index, whereas in the second analysis, there was a positive relationship so that leaner people ate less frequently and fatter people ate more frequently. Therefore, when calories are not controlled but eaten as desired, eating more frequently may actually tend to increase calorie intake. If carried out consistently over a period of time, eating more frequently could lead to unintended weight gain.In other studies where people were required to eat a snack and then allowed to eat as much dinner as desired, the same number of calories were consumed at dinner regardless of whether a snack was consumed. It appears that we do not compensate for the calories we eat in snacks by reducing our intake later. There is weak evidence for any benefit of eating more frequently on body weight when calories are well-controlled. The best recommendation that can be made at this time, based on the scientific literature, is that if people choose to eat more frequently, it  needs to be coupled with a lower calorie intake at each eating occasion so that calories don’t exceed needs. Similarly, if people choose to eat the traditional three meals a day, more calories can be eaten at each eating occasion but the total again should not exceed calorie needs.

To read more:

For more information about this area of research, contact Dr. McCrory,

Eat Right with Color in March (and Beyond)

In the Department…

Barbara Mayfield, MS, RD, CD, and continuing lecturer in the Department of Foods and Nutrition will share information about National Nutrition Month with students as part of a discussion about media events in the F&N 424 Class: Communication Techniques in Foods and Nutrition.

In the Community…

Putnam County is hosting a health conference on March 16 called “Proactive Strategies for Avoiding or Delaying Onset of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases.” Attendees will learn how to fill their plates with color to avoid or delay the onset of diabetes.

Inger Friend, MS, and Ann Williams, MS, Purdue Extension educators in Steuben and DeKalb Counties, will incorporate the “Eat Right with Color” theme into recipes they sharing during a presentation at the Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne health fair on March 23.

“Carry Color Inside the (Lunch) Box” is an activity Teresa Witkoske, MS, Purdue Extension educator in Wabash County, developed to demonstrate proper food safety techniques for various lunch box types, including cold pack and hot thermos.

If you email Allison Goshorn, MA, Purdue Extension educator in La Porte County, you’ll receive a nutrition tip from her in the signature line regarding red fruits and vegetables.

Purdue alum Angie Frost, RD, (’05 in Dietetics) and Nutrition Educator for Crawfordsville Community School Corporation will work with Chartwells, their food service provider, to provide information about the nutritional benefits of brown rice to the 4th and 5th grade students at Hoover Elementary. Students will also learn about where rice grows and make a dry Mexican rice blend they can take home and make later with their families.  Each student will receive an activity booklet about brown rice and its benefits.

If you are in Jennings or Decatur County be sure to check your local newspaper for articles written by Purdue Extension educator Atina Rozhon, MS. She plans to incorporate the NNM theme in a series of articles in March.

Corinne Powell, MS, Purdue Extension educator in Lake County, will teach a five day Home Food Preservation course every Tuesday in March.  In addition to the first lesson on food safety and freezing, she will teach a segment on eating/preserving colorful fruits and vegetables.

Stop by the Purdue Extension Lawrence County office in March to view the National Nutrition Month display.
Lawrence County will start a 12-week wellness initiative at the beginning of March with a kick off health fair on March 5. Nutrition education materials and a cookbook will be given away at the health fair.  Bethany Daugherty, MS, RD, CD and Extension educator will present at one of the twelve weekly sessions about nutrition and promoting the "Eat Right with Color" theme.

To view a variety of helpful tips, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, visit For more information about the various NNM events happening in your county, contact your local Purdue Extension office at 1-888-EXT-INFO. 

Foods & Nutrition Department
Stone Hall, Room 213
700 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN

Phone: (765) 494-8228
Fax: (765) 494-0674

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