The average adult gains one pound per year, and this steady weight creep may be directly related to what (and not just how much) you eat, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers analyzed data collected over 20 years from more than 120,000 U.S. men and women who were not obese and were free of chronic diseases, and identified a number of specific foods linked to weight gain — or weight loss. Eating just one additional daily serving of French fries led to a 3.35-pound weight gain over a four-year period, the study found, while adding yogurt to your diet was linked to a 0.82-pound loss over the same timeframe.
The findings further fuel the theory that little diet tweaks can have a big impact on your weight — the average participant gained 16 pounds during the course of the study — and overall health. “This suggests that the path to eating fewer calories is not simply to count calories.
Also important: Rounding out a healthy diet with smart lifestyle choices. The study found that weight gain also occurred among those who slept less than 6 or more than 8 hours, who watched the most TV, and who drank the most alcohol.
So are your daily favorite foods padding or slimming your waistline? Click through to find out how much weight they caused people to gain or lose over a four-year period.