A year-long study of the dietary habits of 9,341 Australians has backed growing evidence that highly processed and refined foods are the leading contributor of rising obesity rates in the Western world.
The new study, in the latest issue of the journal Obesity conducted by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre (CPC), was based on a national nutrition and physical activity survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and further backs the ‘Protein Leverage Hypothesis’.
Participants with a lower proportion of protein than recommended at the first meal consumed more discretionary foods – energy-dense foods high in saturated fats, sugars, salt, or alcohol – throughout the day, and less of the recommended five food groups (grains; vegetables/legumes; fruit; dairy and meats). Consequently, they had an overall poorer diet at each mealtime, with their percentage of protein energy decreasing even as their discretionary food intake rose – an effect the scientists call ‘protein dilution’.
“The results support an integrated ecological and mechanistic explanation for obesity, in which low-protein, highly processed foods lead to higher energy intake in response to a nutrient imbalance driven by a dominant appetite for protein,” said Professor Raubenheimer. “It supports a central role for protein in the obesity epidemic, with significant implications for global health.”Study confirms that processed foods key to rising obesity — https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2022/11/08/processed-foods-key-to-rising-obesity-study-finds-.html
Beans for breakfast anyone? Eggs?
Link to the original study Macronutrient (im)balance drives energy intake in an obesogenic food environment: An ecological analysis – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23578
Earlier posts on the obesogenic food environment: