New research by the University of Sydney has shown how highly processed foods may contribute to the rising obesity rates in Western countries.
Released in Obesity, it involved a year-long study of dietary habits of more than 9,300 Australians.
“Multidimensional nutritional geometry was used to test the predictions of the protein leverage hypothesis (PLH) using dietary data from the Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey,” according to the study’s authors.
“It was demonstrated that highly processed discretionary foods are a significant diluent of protein and associated with increased energy but not increased protein intake.”
“These results support an integrated ecological and mechanistic explanation for obesity, in which low-protein highly processed foods lead to higher energy intake because of the biological response to macronutrient imbalance driven by a dominant appetite for protein. This study supports a central role for protein in the obesity epidemic, with significant implications for global health.”