According to NIH statistics about 133.6 million or two-third of Americans were overweight or obese in 2006. Being overweight is linked to several health maladies such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and high blood pressure to name a few.
Food intake, while not the only reason contributing to weight gain does have a significant role to play.
The following is a run-through of how some edibles affect weight loss or weight gain.
1. Calcium - Increasing the intake of calcium can set-off weight loss. This was the conclusion of a study that included a 15-week weight loss program, at the end of which, the obese participants who consumed calcium tablets lost about 6 kg, while those who didn't lost just 1 kg. However, this worked only in people whose diets were deficient in calcium. (British Journal of Nutrition, April 2009)
2. Chewing Gums - Sorbitol is the main ingredient in many sugar-free chewing gums, and it is also associated with dangerous weight loss. This was discovered after two patients who suffered chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss were thoroughly examined by doctors. Their assessment found that eating too many chewing gums with sorbitol led up to the symptoms they experienced. (British Medical Journal 'BMJ', January 2008)
But in another study, chewing gums reduced weight in a seemingly harmless way. Eating a chewing gum before an afternoon snack led to reduced food cravings via promoting fullness, and an overall reduced calorie intake of up to 25 calories. (A research presentation, 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society)
3. Grapefruit Diet - Simply supplementing your diet with grapefruit and grapefruit juice can lead to weight loss. This link was exposed when the participants in a study who ate just half a grapefruit with a meal lost 3.6 pounds. Further, drinking grapefruit juice had a similar effect, with the participants losing 3.3 pounds. ('Grapefruit Diet' study, Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, 2004)
4. Fructose - A reduced intake of fructose can aid weight loss. Fructose is a kind of sugar that can be quickly turned into body fat. Fruits are a good source of fructose, but so are many processed foods and the sweetener high-fructose corn syrup or HFCS, which is used in many processed foods. (Journal of Nutrition, July 2008)
5. Beverages - There's a stronger link between liquid calorie intake (e.g. beverages) and weight change than is between solid calorie intake (e.g. bread) and weight change. And that a reduction in liquid calorie intake is positively associated with weight loss. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 'AJCN,' April, 2009)
6. Dairy Products - Dairy products don't help people lose weight. This was the conclusion of the evidence collected from 49 clinical trials between 1966 and 2007 that tested whether milk and dairy products had an effect on body weight and BMI. (Nutrition Reviews, May 2008)
7. Eggs - A study showed that when overweight adult participants consumed two eggs for breakfast, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, the weight loss was more, compared to those subjects who ate a bagel breakfast containing an equal number of calories as two eggs. (International Journal of Obesity, August 2008)
Since, it's well-known that excess body weight is associated with many diseases, it appears profitable to invest time and money in weight loss, at least it's better than spending money on medical drugs used to treat excess weight related disorders.