Binge eating can alter ability to stay slim for years
A moment on the lips really is a lifetime on the hips, scientists discover after they found just a month worth of binge eating can make it hard to stay slim for years.
A short period of gorging on junk food has a more permanent effects on body size and the way it stores fat – even after the initial weight is lost, the study found.
The gluttony changes fat mass – the percentage of fat in the body – for more than two years making it harder to keep weight off.
A team of researchers from Linköping University, Sweden, asked 18 individuals to stop exercising and eat excessively for four weeks – increasing their energy intake by an average of 70 per cent.
A separate control group ate and exercised as normal.
The binge eating group gained an average of one stone in body weight, which was mostly lost six months later.
However, one year on this group showed an increased fat mass compared to those who ate and exercised normally, the differences were even greater after two and a half years.
The study, published in Nutrition and Metabolism, concluded that it provides evidence that even a short period of excessive eating and a lack of exercise can potentially change an individual's physiology, causing it to be harder to lose and keep off weight.