Consuming Fat Is The Only Cause Of Gaining Weight, Shows New Study

Is Eating Fatty Foods the Sole Reason of Why We Gain Weight

Over the past few decades focus shifted from fat to carbs while examining weight gain and recently it has been thought that when protein intake falls people eat more and hence gain weight. The mice had different types of food, which varied in contents of carbs, fat, and protein.

A major drawback in conducting human studies on the effects of diets is time, as most don't last long enough to draw concrete conclusions. Lead author John Speakman, chair of zoology at the University of Aberdeen, says that the amount of carbohydrates and protein in the diet did not induce weight gain in the subjects.

However, studies on animals that are genetically similar, such as mice, could help point researchers in the right direction.

More than 100,000 measurements of body weight changes of mice were made, including a micro MRI machine to assess body fat. A low protein diet may lead people to eat more, resulting in more energy and weight.

The researchers found that even mice who were fed diets where 30% of the calories came from sugar did not undergo significant weight gain. What they did, was to heap the pounds while they were fed with fatty diet - because fatty foods are known to stimulate the reward center of the brain.

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And combining sugar with fat had no more impact than fat alone, revealed the study, published in Cell Metabolism.

Speakman says it is unlikely that a study of this scope and kind will be done on humans because it is hard to subject humans to such a controlled diet for extremely long periods of time. Also, there's no proof that the low proteins (up to 5%) might have stimulated a bigger consumption, meaning that there's no protein target.

He added that they could never do this study on humans, considering they would have to control their diets for years, so he concludes "the evidence it [the study on mice] provides is a good clue to what the effects of different diets are likely to be in humans".

Some argued that carbohydrates, especially sugar, was the leading cause, while others thought of protein, saying the objective of eating food is to obtain protein rather than energy.

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