Brief Report

Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp e54-e56

First online:

Weight and body composition change over a six-week holiday period

  • D. R. WagnerAffiliated withHuman Movement Science Program, HPER Dept. Email author 
  • , J. N. LarsonAffiliated withHuman Movement Science Program, HPER Dept.
  • , H. WengreenAffiliated withDept. of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences, Utah State University

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Change in weight and body composition was assessed over a six-week holiday period. Baseline testing occurred the Monday or Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving Day (November 24 or 25, 2008), and the post-holiday assessment was the Monday or Tuesday after New Year’s Day (January 5 or 6, 2009). Thirteen men and 21 women ranging in age from 23–61 years completed the study. The majority of participants (24 of 34) perceived that they had gained weight, and four did gain =2 kg. However, despite some changes to dietary and exercise habits, on average there was no difference between pre-holiday weight (74.0±17.8 kg) and post-holiday weight (73.9±18.1 kg), nor between pre-holiday body fat percentage (25.4±9.0%) and post-holiday body fat percentage (25.4±8.9%). Despite a perception of substantial weight gain, body weight and body fat remained unchanged over a six-week holiday period.

Key words

Body fat Thanksgiving Christmas New Year