A new study shows how peanuts & peanut butter can help fight obesity. It is published in the Journal of Applied Research on Children.
A study focusing on Hispanic middle school children shows that snacking on peanuts helps reduce BMI. The aim of the team of researchers behind the endeavour was to find ways to prevent the spiralling trend of obesity.
The study entailed a 12-week intervention focusing on physical activity and nutrition education for which 257 Latino teenagers enlisted their participation. Around 50% of these students obtained a snack of peanuts or peanut butter 3 to 4 times each week while the remaining group had the snacks around once a week. The researchers opted for peanuts because of high nutrient-density that makes one feel satiated.
After the 12 weeks, the students carried on with the healthy snacking habit for 12 more weeks.
The results generated after this period show that participants having received the snack more often had a decrease in their overall BMI as opposed to those who did not receive the snack as regularly.
The researchers, therefore, recommend that unhealthy snacks are replaced with peanuts during school time and following school hours.
Author Craig Johnston points out that unhealthy snacking is extremely prevalent among adolescents, and that this insalubrious habit can result in an unhealthy weight, specially if students do not have other meals during the day. Johnston explains that teenagers are used to skipping meals, for various reasons, which causes them to indulge in more snacking after school hours. They adhere to unhealthy eating habits because they did not have have adequate meals before. The problems worsens because they do so at a time when parents are not there to supervise them. The trend hence kicks in.
Johnston concludes that, therefore, combating obesity will require creativity in assisting individuals to have a better management of their weight, appetite and hunger. One way of doing so is to provide socially-acceptable food alternatives, and, in this case, peanuts constitute one of these.