Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An Apple A Day?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 | 9:00 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , , No comments
We’ve all heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but a recent study suggests that apples may keep the scale from tipping too.

Can apples really help with weight management?
A recent study found that children ages 2-18 who ate apples were less likely to be obese and had better diets overall than children who didn’t eat apples. The relationship between having a healthier weight was seen with whole apples and total apple products, but not with apple sauce or apple juice individually. The researchers suggest that this may be because whole apples tend to be more filling than apple juice or sauce. It is important to note that while eating fruit overall has been associated with being healthier, this single study doesn’t necessarily mean that an apple a day is the key to weight loss or management. It may in fact be that children who eat apples tend to have other healthy habits too.

Is it just apples? How about other fruit?
Fruit overall offers a lot of beneficial nutrients for relatively few calories. While this specific study looked just at apples, many previous studies looked at the impact of eating fruit. While the results for weight management are not conclusive, the health benefits of eating fruit are pretty clear. People who eat the recommended amounts of fruit (and vegetables) tend to be healthier than those who don’t. So, if you don’t like apples, don’t worry. Including a variety of other fruit, especially whole fruit, into your day is likely to offer benefits too.

Bottom Line
With almost no downside, adding an apple a day, especially if it replaces something higher in calories, may be a good way to start improving your eating habits and health overall. A lot of advice for being healthy or losing weight focuses on foods we shouldn’t eat when it may actually be more beneficial to focus on the foods that we should eat.

REFERENCES:1. O’Neil CE, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL 3rd. Consumption of apples is associated with a better diet quality and reduced risk of obesity in children: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2010. Nutr J. 2015 May 14;14(1):48.

Written by Jennifer M. Ignacio, MS, RD.
September 2015