Effect of Greek orthodox Easter holidays on body weight gain

M. Hourdakis, D. Papandreou, P. Malindretos, D. Vassilakou, N. Papastergiou, D. Tantsidis, D. Kouvelas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: It is commonly asserted that a lot of people may gain about 2.5 kg of weight or more over holiday periods, however data are limited. The purpose of this paper is to assess potential changes that may occur in body weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference during Easter holidays. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 138 college students participate in the study in the morning after a 12 h fasting. Body weight is assessed using an electronic scale (Seca ± 0.1 g), wearing minimal clothing. Paired t-test is used to assess changes in body weight before and after a holiday period. Findings: The mean (±SD) weight increases significantly during the holiday period (+1.5 ± 2.4 kg, p < 0.001) and (+1.7 ± 1.3 kg, p < 0.001) for both males and females, respectively. When subjects are classified by BMI as normal or overweight (OW)/obese, a significant 2.6 ± 3.5 kg gain is found (p < 0.05) in the OW/obese group (≥25 kg/m2). The average holiday gain is less than what is commonly asserted. This gain is not usually reversed and may contribute to the increase of body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood. Research limitations/implications: A convenience sample (college students), rather than a population-based sample is used; also the activity level of the subjects is not measured, which might influence the body weight gain. Originality/value: The paper should be of value to nutritionists and clinical dietetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition and Food Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Diet
  • Greece
  • Human anatomy
  • National holidays
  • Students


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