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Special Reports August 2015 Issue

Smart Choices Key to Keeping Pounds Off as You Age

Combating “middle-age spread” is more complicated than just counting calories.

Popular coverage of diet and weight-loss strategies often summarizes the bottom line with a twist on President Bill Clinton’s campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.” When it comes to managing your weight, as this line of thinking goes, “It’s the calories, stupid.” But a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition challenges this conventional wisdom. “It builds on earlier work that suggests all calories are not the same,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of Tufts’ Friedman School and senior author of the study. “All foods have complex mechanisms that help or hinder weight long-term. The simple math of calories in versus calories burned is true if you’re testing food in a test tube. But human beings are not just inert buckets to put calories in.”

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