Live Better

Celebrations around the world have one thing in common

A look at weight gain around the world over Christmas time and some tips on how you can go into the new year feeling good.  


Holidays may be celebrated very differently in the US, Japan, and Germany, but it appears they all cause similar effects–weight gain.

What the research found

In a letter published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers describe how they distributed wireless scales to nearly 3,000 people in US, Japan, and Germany.

Over 12 months, the people in the study weighed themselves each day. At the end of the study period, the researchers used the scale data to calculate how each participant’s weight changed over the course of the year, compared to their starting weights.

People’s average weights also increased around national holidays in their countries.

But the largest gains were over the Christmas-New Year holiday season. According to the study, people in all three countries gained weight over this period. Specifically, people’s weight went up in the 10 days after Christmas compared to the 10 days before Christmas, the researchers found.

The researchers found that participants in all three countries gained weight during the 10 days after Christmas, compared to 10 days before. They noted that although participants shed half of their weight gain shortly after the holidays, but the other half lingered for six months or more.

Australians also gain weight during the festive season

While the research didn’t include Australians, it seems we also get heavier over festive seasons.

According to Nutrition Australia, on average Australians gain 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period. And although this might not sound like a lot of weight, they also identified that weight gained over the holiday period is rarely lost.

Start the New Year feeling good

But weight gain over the festive season doesn’t have to be inevitable.

Accredited Practising Dietitian Sharon Curtain shares some simple strategies to keep you feeling good into the New Year. Read her party season survival guide here.

youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickWellbeing and mindfulness 1Physical Health 1Positive psychology 101 1Wellbeing and mindfulness 4All about gut health 1Understanding Genetics 4Planning for Pregnancy 2During Pregnancy 3The mind-gut connection 4The mind-gut connection 1New Parents 3Page 1Group 10During Pregnancy 2Page 1Physical Health 2Planning for Pregnancy 1Positive psychology 101 1Positive psychology 101 4Planning for Pregnancy 4Understanding Genetics 1Physical Health 4Planning for Pregnancy 3Nutrition 4New Parents 1New Parents 3 CopyMovement for your mind 4Wellbeing and mindfulness 2Nutrition 2sob-icon__mind-bodysob-icon__man-with-laptopAll about gut health 2Positive psychology 101 3Positive psychology 101 2Physical Health 3Wellbeing and mindfulness 3All about gut health 3genetics-changing-what-your-givenUnderstanding Genetics 2During Pregnancy 1Movement for your mind 2Movement for your mind 1Movement for your mind 3During Pregnancy 4