Why meat is bad for your waistline: Protein fueling the obesity crisis, should come with ‘warning label’

Eating too much meat could be as bad for you as a diet rich in sugar, scientists have warned.

Protein found in animal products can be just as damaging to the waistline and could potentially lead to type 2 diabetes, experts believe.

While previous research has found meat consumption is related to obesity, researchers often put it down to its fat content.

But a new study found eating meat is a serious issue for the modern diet and human health because the protein is directly contributing to the global obesity crisis.

They said because meat protein is digested later than fats and carbohydrates, it makes the energy received from protein a surplus, which is then converted and stored as fat in the body.

Lead researcher Wenpeng You, from the University of Adelaide, said the modern diet meant people were getting energy from other sources.

‘There is a dogma that fats and carbohydrates, especially fats, are the major factors contributing to obesity,’ he said.

‘Whether we like it or not, fats and carbohydrates in modern diets are supplying enough energy to meet our daily needs.’

Researchers looked at the correlation between meat consumption and obesity rates in 170 countries.

They found how common sugar was in a nation’s diet accounted for 50 per cent of obesity rates, while meat – specifically protein and fat – made up the other half.

Even after their findings were adjusted to account for other factors in obesity such as national differences in wealth, calorie consumption and levels of physical activity, the availability of sugar and meat were found to have an equal input towards obesity.

Previous research has found meat consumption is related to obesity but researchers often put it down to its fat content - not protein

Professor Maciej Henneberg, from the University of Adelaide, called for similar warnings to be displayed on packaging, as with sugar.

‘While we believe it’s important that the public should be alert to the over-consumption of sugar and some fats in their diets, based on our findings we believe meat protein in the human diet is also making a significant contribution to obesity,’ he said.

‘It is important that we show the contribution meat protein is making to obesity so that we can better understand what is happening.

‘In the modern world in which we live, in order to curb obesity it may make sense for dietary guidelines to advise eating less meat, as well as eating less sugar.’

It comes after a study last month found sugar may being unfairly blamed for the obesity crisis.

Research on more than 132,000 people across Britain by experts at Glasgow University found the white stuff contributed ‘little’ to expanding waistlines.

It found obese and overweight adults often pile on the pounds because of the amount of fat they eat – not sugar.

In fact, it makes up a smaller share of the diet for many fat people than it does for skinnier ones.

And a nutritionist previously warned a guide to healthy eating could actually be causing obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Source: The DailyMail

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