Meat protein, not fat, causes obesity: study

Sydney: Protein in meat is causing obesity in the same way sugar does, reveals a new study.

The study suggest that protein in meat is causing obesity as it is digested after the fats and carbohydrates. This makes the energy released from protein a surplus, which then is converted and stored as extra fat in the human body.

According to the study, published in the journal BMC Nutrition and the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences, meat in modern diet creates surplus energy leading to obesity.

Researchers said several other academic papers in the past had reported the same, but it was often argued that obesity was due to the fat content in meat.

The researchers studied the correlation between meat consumption and obesity rates in 170 countries.

“Based on our findings we believe meat protein in the human diet is also making a significant contribution to obesity. In the analysis of obesity prevalence across 170 countries, we have found that sugar availability in a nation explains 50 per cent of obesity variation while meat availability another 50 per cent,” said Maciej Henneberg, Professor, University of Adelaide.

“Nevertheless, it is important that we show the contribution meat protein is making to obesity so that we can better understand what is happening. In order to curb obesity it might make sense for dietary guidelines to advise eating less meat, as well as less sugar,” added Henneberg.