Written by: Kat Gal
Plant-based living has been on the rise for a while now. Not surprisingly, especially as increasing research and personal stories continue to support how reducing the consumption of animal-based products and increasing the consumption of plant-based foods has many health benefits.
A team of researchers from the University of Adelaide has recently questioned if we should be warning consumers about the over-consumption of meat as well as sugar. They claim that the meat in our modern day diet offers a surplus of energy that is contributing the global obesity crisis.
They have been studying the correlation between eating meat and obesity rates in 170 countries. According to their findings, meat contributes to obesity at the same extent as sugar does. Their findings suggest that 50% of obesity variation is related to the sugar availability while the other 50% is to the meat availability of these 170 countries. They have studied the nation’s’ wealth (GDP), levels of urbanization, physical activity and calorie consumption that are all related to obesity. The remaining factors were sugar and meat, each contributing 13% to the obesity rates.
This study alerts the public that not only sugar and some fats, but also meat protein itself contributes to obesity.
Wenpeng You, PHD candidate has presented the findings at the 18th International Conference on Nutrition and Food Sciences in Zurich, Switzerland, as well as published two papers on the topic. He explains that there is a dogma that fats and carbs – mainly fats – contribute to obesity. However, fats and carbohydrates in our modern diets supply enough energy for our daily needs and too much animal protein consumed contributes to a surplus that will be stored as fat in the human body. As a result, meat consumption is directly contributing to obesity.
Professor Henneberg, the head of the Biological Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy Research Unit explained the complexity of this. He warned that it would be irresponsible to think that we should be eating high fats and carbohydrates, as we know about the consequences; however, we should note that meat protein is a contributing factor as well. He suggests that dietary guidelines should be adjusted, advising us to eat less meat and sugar.
Once again, it seems that a whole foods, mostly plant-based diet is the healthiest way to go.
What do you think about these findings? Did they surprise you? Will you decrease your meat consumption after reading this article? Share your answers in the comments below. As always, we’d love to hear from you.
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