(RxWiki News) Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables doesn't appear to be enough to stave off weight gain with age. The exception may be among smokers who recently kicked the habit.
Even with a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, mid-life weight gain still occurres.
Researchers speculated that could be because those dieting tend to consume higher quantities, and it could be a result of yo-yo dieting.
"Eat several servings of fruit and vegetables daily."
Anne-Claire Vergnaud, the lead researcher from the department of epidemiology and public health at Imperial College London, found that frequent fruit and vegetable eaters were not less likely to gain weight with age after factors such as calorie intake and physical activity was taken into account.
During the study researchers assessed the diets of 373,803 participants between the ages of 25 and 70 through country-specific questionnaires. Those participating were from 10 European countries as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.
Those with chronic diseases were excluded from the study.
Patients were weighed at the beginning of the study. After a 5-year follow up period, investigators examined for associations between weight change and high fruit and vegetable consumption after taking into consideration factors such as age, gender and total energy intake.
Participants gained about a pound a year during the study. Overweight women who ate the most fruits and vegetables tended to gain more weight.
Among men who ate large quantities of fruits and vegetables, their weight appeared to decrease slightly, but after adjusting for various factors, that weight loss was negated.
Those who ate plenty of fruits and vegetables and recently quit smoking gained the least amount of weight, though the reason was unclear.
The study was recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.