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Good Housekeeping
Jennifer Chan, Assistant Managing Editor
March 27, 2012

Snacking Leads to More Calories and Less Nutrients, Study Shows

Research shows up to a third of the calories you consume may be empty calories from snacks. By Jennifer Chan

For some of us, snacking has become a daily habit. Aside from breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we now look forward to tiny brunch bites, mid-afternoon delights, and, of course, midnight snacks. With factors like stress and marketing egging us on, who can blame us? Every now and then, however, it’s important to take a step back and consider the consequences. For example, according to a recent study, snacking is associated with increased calories but decreased nutrients.

Examining dietary intake survey data from more than 5,000 people aged 20 and above, researchers from the Food Surveys Research Group found evidence that snacking makes up one-third of all daily calories from empty calories (calories from solid fats and added sugars).

Men aged 20 and above consume an average of 923 empty calories a day, which means that they’re taking in solid fats and added sugars at two to three times their limit. Women aged 20 and above, on the other hand, consume an average of 624 calories per day, which means that they’re taking in solid fats and added sugars at two to four times their limit.

As unhealthy as this all sounds, researchers have found an upside to snacking. According to the survey, snacking is also responsible for more than one-third of men and women’s fruit intake. Perhaps if more people snacked on fresh produce, there would be far less problems when it comes to nutrition. 



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Jennifer Chan
Assistant Managing Editor
Jennifer Chan was a contributing writer for Female Network for two years before formally joining the team as a staff writer in July 2012... Read more...
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