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Behaviours That May Lead to Successful Weight Control in Older Women

Older women who increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables and decreased consumption of desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages, meat and cheese were the most likely to control their weight over time, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and the Graduate School of Public Health.

“With more than one-third of all Americans considered obese, it’s clear that standard behavioral obesity treatment is producing poor long-term results,” said Bethany Barone Gibbs, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Health and Physical Activity, University of Pittsburgh. “We found that some important behaviors differ for long-term versus short-term weight control among women in their 50s and 60s, who are already at higher risk for weight gain.”

Dr. Barone Gibbs is the lead author of the study, which will be published in the September issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is now available online.

Researchers studied 465 overweight and obese postmenopausal women previously enrolled in Pitt Public Health’s Women on the Move through Activity and Nutrition (WOMAN) study and analyzed changes in eating habits and weight loss from the beginning of the study to six and 48 months.

The women were randomly assigned to either a lifestyle-change intervention group or a control group. The women in the intervention group regularly met with nutritionists, exercise physiologists and psychologists, while women in the control group were offered occasional seminars over the study period focusing on general women’s health. Participants in both groups self-reported their eating habits using a detailed questionnaire. At the end of the four years of the study, 57 percent of the intervention participants and 29 percent of controls had maintained at least a five-pound weight loss.

Women in both groups who decreased their consumption of desserts and sugar-sweetened beverages experienced a greater weight loss than those who did not in both the short- and long-term. However, participants who decreased fried foods and eating out, and increased fish consumption had greater weight loss at six months; those who increased their fruit and vegetable intake and decreased intake of meats and cheeses were more likely to be successful at long-term weight loss. Eating out and eating fried food had no apparent effect on long-term weight change.

“Behaviors like cutting out fried foods may work in the short-term, but may be too restrictive to continue for a long period of time. On the other hand, adding fruits and vegetables may be a small change that makes a difference over a period of many months or years,” said Dr. Barone Gibbs.

Source: UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Read the research paper …. (pdf)

Deep-fried Wonton with Potato Filling


4 oz potato
2 oz cooked ham, diced
2 oz carrot, chopped
2 oz celery, chopped
1/2 oz onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
20 pieces round wonton wraps


  1. Cook potato in boiling water until done. Peel and mash.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok, stir-fry onion, carrot and celery. Remove and mix well with ham, mashed potato and butter. Cool. Divide into 10 portions.
  3. Place 1 portion of filling in the centre of a wonton wrap. Brush egg around the edge of the wrap. Cover with another wrap and press down at the rim to form a wonton. Repeat with the remaining filling and wraps.
  4. Deep-fry wonton in hot oil. Serve hot with sweet and sour sauce.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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