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WHAT OTHERS SAY: A useful diet tip: Fruits and veggies have calories, too

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Let’s say you need to drop a few pounds. You read that doctors recommend eating more fruits and vegetables.

You pile them on, and still you don’t lose weight. What went wrong?

Thanks to the Department of Obvious Science, we now know that you have to stop eating other stuff, too. Who’da thunk it?

A meta-analysis (a study of other studies) by researchers at the University of Alabama-Birmingham published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows amazing scientific consensus: If you eat more fruits and vegetables on top of your usual diet (say hamburgers, french fries, Twinkies and Snickers bars), it’s not going to help you lose weight. (Strangely, it won’t cause you to gain weight, either, perhaps because you’re full).

“Eat all the vegetables and fruit you want, but you have to cut out more calories from other foods,” to lose weight, study author David Allison, associate dean for science in the UAB School of Public Health, told the Website LiveScience.com.

A researcher suggested the blame for this misconception falls on public health authorities who don’t warn dieters that fruits and vegetables contain calories. Maybe they thought that went without saying.

Not in a country where people are always looking for a free lunch.

Copyright St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reprinted with permission.


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