Extra Pounds But Not Enough Nutrients
Overweight and obese Americans are more likely to fall short on important vitamins and minerals, according to a new analysis of data from national nutrition surveys. The findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, support the theory that the diets packing on pounds nonetheless don’t supply adequate nutrients. Normal-weight individuals had the highest intake of most of the nutrients studied, with overweight people next and those classified as obese at the low end. Obese adults’ intakes of vitamins A, C, D and E, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium ranged from 5% to 12% lower than those of normal-weight adults.
Surprisingly, the study also found that the normal-weight group actually consumed the most daily calories—2,216 on average, compared to 2,002 for the overweight group and 2,154 for the obese. That suggests, researchers said, that lifestyle and possibly genetic factors are at work. The biggest difference in diet among the weight groups was in fruit consumption, with normal-weight adults eating the most. Those of normal weight also ate more dairy and—in another surprise—more added sugar, while eating slightly less protein.