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Hotel Mints Contribute To Obesity Epidemic, Study Finds
According to the Society For Prevention Against A Portly Populace, the sweet treats are a primary contributor to "vacation belly" – the sudden and enduring weight gain experienced by travelers following their break. Mark Smith, President of the society, says travelers are particularly vulnerable when it comes to sweet temptations, and the repercussions of caving in to cravings are likely to be felt on the thighs and hips for a long time to come. "People tend to be more relaxed when they're on vacation, so exerting the willpower necessary to stay away from chocolates is actually much harder," says Smith. "They get back to their room after a pleasant day of sightseeing, notice the mint on the pillow, and think 'Oh, what the heck, I'm on vacation, I might as well put the diet on vacation too.'"
The authors of the report estimate the hotel mints are costing the health industry around $12 billion dollars a year, mostly in the form of travelers needing liposuction before embarking on their next vacation where the costly mint-eating habit resumes. Experts say the best way of halting the vicious cycle is for hotels to stop the practice of leaving mints during turn down, or at the very least, reducing the size of the chocolates. In 1950, the average hotel mint was the size of a dime – or around 3 calories. Today's mints are packed with nearly 26 times the amount of fat as their ancestors.
[Photo credit: Flickr user Dan Perry]
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