In a recent study from the University of Michigan, researchers examine whether a simple part of our diets might be linked to a healthier weight.
The simple part has nothing to do with carbs, fat, or protein.
It is water.
Researchers found that overweight and obese people often drink less water than they should.
Although the link requires further testing, the team noted that hydration has lately been considered a very important part of a weight-loss diet.
In the study, the researchers looked at a nationally representative sample of 9,528 adults from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
They found that about a third of the adults, who spanned ages 18 to 64, were inadequately hydrated.
The results suggest that people who are overweight or obese have higher water needs.
But too often they show behaviors that lead to inadequate hydration, such as not drinking enough water and eating foods that have lower water content, such as processed foods.
But the study didn’t examine specific actions.
The team notes that because the data is cross-sectional, it is hard to say that inadequate hydration causes obesity or the other way around.
But their findings highlight a strong link between the two.
The researchers suggest that eating healthy foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can improve hydration status.
More studies are needed to know whether hydration status can influence weight.
The researchers said:
“We often hear recommendations that drinking water is a way to avoid overeating because you may be thirsty rather than hungry.”
“Hydration may be overlooked in adult weight management strategies.”
“Our findings suggest that hydration may deserve more attention when thinking about addressing obesity on a population level.
Staying hydrated is good for you no matter what, and our study suggests it may also be linked to maintaining a healthy weight.”
The study was published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
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