Everybody knows stuffing your face with ice cream, pizza and french fries packs on the pounds. But did you know that simply living in the suburbs makes you fat? It does. Here are 10 surprising things that expand your waistline:

Research shows that eating too fast blimps you up. Our bodies aren't equipped to properly metabolize food when it's shoveled down. Plus, you'll tend to eat less if you eat slowly.

Suburban Living
An international study shows suburb-dwellers tend to be fatter than country folks. Experts theorize it's because rural people walk more.

The Blues
Eating while you're sad or depressed causes your body to store fat - even if you eat the same amount as you do when you're happy.

Pain Medications
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin contribute to weight gain.

Birth Control Pills
They can cause women to retain water, which increases weight.

Non-Fat Eating
Forget the hype. Long-term studies find dieters who drastically restrict fat intake ultimately abandon their food plans and splurge. The reason? The diets are too unsatisfying and become impossible to stick with.

You may not eat more food when you're stressed out, but your digestive system tends to shut down when you're fearful, worried or churning with anger. Instead of being metabolized, the calories get stored away - often on your stomach, thighs and butt.

Social gatherings often center around food. You may lose track of how many potato chips or hor d'oeuvres you've tucked away.

You may think you're doing something healthy when you bypass a hamburger for a nutritious fruit smoothie. But when fruit is juiced, calories get concentrated. It's fine to included fruit in your diet, but it's better to eat it whole.

Diet Soda
We've saved the most surprising one for last. You may think you're outwitting Mother Nature by substituting artificially sweetened beverage for sugared ones. But research shows that people who consume a lot of saccharine or aspartame become desensitized to how many calories they're taking in and wind up overeating.


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