TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Increasing daily consumption of nuts is associated with less long-term weight gain and a lower risk for obesity in adults, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.

Xiaoran Liu, Ph.D., from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues evaluated the association between changes in total consumption of nuts and long-term weight change using data from three independent cohort studies: 27,521 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study; 61,680 women from the Nurses’ Health Study; and 55,684 younger women from the Nurses’ Health Study II.

The researchers found that average weight gain across the three cohorts was 0.32 kg each year. Increases in nut consumption (per 0.5 servings/day) were significantly associated with less weight gain per four-year interval, including total nuts, walnuts, other tree nuts, and peanuts. Similarly, increasing intake of total nuts, walnuts, and other tree nuts by 0.5 servings/day was associated with a lower risk for obesity (adjusted relative risks, 0.97, 0.85, 0.89, respectively). Substituting 0.5 servings/day of nuts for red meat, processed meat, French fries, desserts, or potato chips was also associated with less weight gain.

“Incorporating nuts as part of a healthy dietary pattern by replacing less healthful foods may help mitigate the gradual weight gain common during adulthood, and beneficially contribute to the prevention of obesity,” the authors write.

One author was partly funded by The Peanut Institute, while another was partly funded by the California Walnut Commission.

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