We all know that we need to tackle the country's on-going obesity problem, and researchers in Houston believe they have found the one ingredient that can help: peanut butter. 


A new study conducted by the University of Houston Department of Health and Human Performance, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Woman’s University, has found that snacking on peanut butter or peanuts up to four times a week could help fight the growing epidemic.


Experts involved in the study looked at 257 Latino adolescents from three schools in Houston, who they brought through a program of physical activity and nutrition education.


For 12 weeks, half of the students involved in the study were given peanuts or peanut butter as a snack three to four times a week, while the other half only received it less than once a week. They had to continue this snacking habit for another 12 weeks after the program.


At the end of the study, researchers found that students who regularly ate the peanut or peanut butter snack experienced decreased BMI compared to those who only ate it occasionally.


“Obesity is the most pressing health issue facing us today. We'd like to think it's preventable, but from where I sit right now, there hasn't been a lot shown to be very effective on a large scale," said researcher Craig Johnston, HHP assistant professor.


Explaining that the fighting obesity needs a creative solution, Johnston added that children need to be provided with healthier snack alternatives.


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