University of Georgia

Holiday indulgences

University of Georgia researcher Jamie Cooper poses for a photo on campus

While a week’s vacation may be just the thing to help employees recover from the daily grind, that time off may also lead to an expanding waistline. A researcher at the College of Family and Consumer Sciences found that adults going on a one- to three-week vacation gained an average of nearly 1 pound during their trips.

“That’s a pretty substantial weight gain during such a short period of time,” said Jamie Cooper, associate professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition.

One of the factors that likely contributed to the weight gain was increased caloric intake, especially from alcohol. The average alcohol consumption among study participants prior to vacation was eight drinks a week. That number went up to 16 per week during vacation, which accounts for a significant increase in calories.

Cooper said that future studies may be able to provide more information by examining overall caloric intake during vacation, and they may also measure the effectiveness of targeted interventions for cutting back on certain foods and drink.