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“Globesity” and Apples: can an apple a day help the weight go away?

A new term was coined a few years ago that makes me realize how bad the obesity epidemic really is: “Globesity”

In 2002, the United Nations’ World Health and Food and Agriculture Organizations met jointly to address the global obesity epidemic. There are now more than 1 billion overweight adults worldwide, with at least 300 million deemed obese. Some scientists predict “globesity” will outstrip infectious disease deaths by the end of the decade. As a result, researchers are scrambling to identify what are the most effective methods to combat this global epidemic.


Can apples come to the rescue to help prevent or reverse obesity trends? We have long known that apples, as well as other fruits and vegetables play an important role in reducing our risk of many chronic diseases. But can apples help you lose weight? I read with interest research from Rio de Janiero that studied the impact of fruit intake on weight loss: the study found that overweight women who ate just 3 small apples or pears per day lost more weight on a low calorie diet than women who didn’t add fruit to their diet.

Researchers suggested several theories as to why apple and pear consumption may promote weight loss. First, fruits like apples and pears are “low energy-density” foods – that is, they have a relatively low calorie count compared to other non-fruit foods. Second, research has shown that eating a high-fiber diet (calorie intake being equal) promotes post-meal “satiety”, leaving subjects feeling fuller for longer. And finally, research has also established that eating a high-fiber diet decreases total calorie intake, thus contributing to weight loss. (Source: Nutrition 19: 253-256, 2003).

I have noticed that when I recommend to my overweight clients in my nutrition practice to snack on apples mid-afternoon, they find the apple snack helps reduce their cravings and urge to overeat at supper. My clients have found this to be a great weight loss “trick” that helps them stay on track in their dieting efforts. They also like the convenience of eating an apple, as compared to something that either needs to be refrigerated or requires preparation before consuming. I personally like the price: Michigan apples are a great buy and fit well into my food budget!

What do you think? Let me hear your thoughts on this subject, or if you have other nutrition-related questions, please send me a note!

Yours in health,
Judy MacNeill, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian / Wellness Expert
Nutrition Spokesperson, Michigan Apple Committee