fred-hutchison-logo.jpg It’s hard to control hunger pangs during the interval between breakfast and lunch, which is why most of us gobble up a snack in between. But, this habit could be undermining weight loss efforts as a study by experts from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre has unfolded a negative link between mid-morning snack and weight loss.

This trial spanning through a year, incorporated nearly 123 postmenopausal women who were somewhere between overweight to obese. The subjects’ were in the age-group 50 to 75, and were categorized into 2 groups, one which included only dietary interventions and the other where exercise also formed a part. The participants also received diet counseling but nothing in particular pertaining to snacks.

“We think this finding may not relate necessarily to the time of day one snacks, but rather to the short interval between breakfast and lunch. Mid-morning snacking therefore might be a reflection of recreational or mindless eating habits rather than eating to satisfy true hunger,” specified McTiernan, the corresponding author of the paper.

The results showed that women who snacked between breakfast and lunch seemingly shed 7% of their weight on an average, as compared to the 11% weight lost by those who restrained from snacks before lunch and consumed a healthy breakfast. Further, women who ate more snacks during the day seemed to have greater fiber intake unlike those who did not. Also, afternoon snacks constituted fruits and vegetables for some women, which was not the case with those who did not consume snacks between lunch and dinner.

This study promotes snacking as a way to control weight, but at appropriate times in a day. The team believed that snacking while approaching lunch time may have a negative effect. Moreover, healthy snacks are filling for the body and do not add on to the calories, the experts concluded.

The analysis is published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.