The 'Skinny' May Lie in Frequent Eating

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People who eat more frequently tend to be skinnier, according to the results of a new U.S. study.

Researchers found that on average, normal weight people eat three meals and at least two snacks a day.

However, their overweight counterparts tend to eat fewer meals with higher calories and are often less active. Those who are overweight averaged three meals and about one snack a day.

"Most of the research has shown that people who eat more frequently have a lower weight. But no one knows why," lead researcher Jessica Bachman, an assistant professor at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania told Reuters.

Researchers speculate snacking might help limit weight gain by preventing intense hunger.

"If you eat more often, it stops you from getting too hungry. If you wait 10 hours after you've last eaten, you end up eating a lot more food," she explained.

Bachman and her team followed 250 people for one year, analyzing data collected in two large studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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