Meat Protein and Not Fat Causes Obesity: Study

Meat Protein and Not Fat Causes Obesity: StudyWe all need protein in our diet to help our body repair cells and make new ones and it is also an important factor for our growth and development. Protein foods are broken down into parts called amino acids during digestion. The human body requires a number of amino acids in large enough amounts to maintain good health. It’s equally important to eat the right amount and the right kind of protein to get its health benefits.

Protein in meat is causing obesity in the same way sugar does, reveals a new study.

The study suggest that protein in meat is causing obesity as it is digested after the fats and carbohydrates. This makes the energy released from protein a surplus, which then is converted and stored as extra fat in the human body.

The World Heath Organization (WHO), states that the cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Factors that reduce obesity include limiting energy intake from fats and sugars.

According to the study, published in the journal BMC Nutrition and the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences, meat in modern diet creates surplus energy leading to obesity.

Researchers said several other academic papers in the past had reported the same, but it was often argued that obesity was due to the fat content in meat. A research published in 2012 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”, subjects following a high-calorie, high-protein diet gained about twice as much weight during an eight-week trial period as subjects who ate a low-protein, high-calorie diet. However, body fat increased uniformly across all test groups, which led researchers to conclude that excess calories are responsible for fat gain rather than excess protein.

The researchers studied the correlation between meat consumption and obesity rates in 170 countries.

“Based on our findings we believe meat protein in the human diet is also making a significant contribution to obesity. In the analysis of obesity prevalence across 170 countries, we have found that sugar availability in a nation explains 50 per cent of obesity variation while meat availability another 50 per cent,” said Maciej Henneberg, Professor, University of Adelaide.

“Nevertheless, it is important that we show the contribution meat protein is making to obesity so that we can better understand what is happening. In order to curb obesity it might make sense for dietary guidelines to advise eating less meat, as well as less sugar,” added Henneberg.


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