Meat consumption is not only associated with weight gain, but specifically abdominal obesity, which is the most metabolically concerning.
Waist-to-height ratio may be a better predictor of disease than body mass index.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was not happy about the findings of the EPIC study, one of the largest studies on human nutrition ever performed, which as we've seen recently found that those who ate any kind of meat went on to gained significantly more weight than those who ate less—even eating the same number of calories.
One of the beef association’s speakers wrote to American Journal fo Clinical Nutrition, complaining that “meat intake’s influence on body fatness cannot be assessed without measurement of body fat.” Maybe, the cattlemen argued, the pounds that the meateaters packed on was muscle mass, not fat. maybe they were becoming beefier not fatter.
Fine, the researcher answered, we’ll not just measure obesity, but abdominal obesity, the worst kind. So they took a small sample out of the study, a sample of 91,214 people, and found the exact same thing—even eating the same number of calories, the more meat we eat the more our belly grows. And could even calculate how much our waistline could be predicted to expand based on our daily meat consumption so one can plan ahead for the new pants they'll need to buy.
Though nothing comes close to the EPIC study in scale, other recent studies have found the same thing. In Spain, nut and vegetable consumption was recently associated with having a slimmer waist; and meat and meat product consumption with a fatter one. Another new study, this one out of Belgium, concluded that animal protein intake associated with a bigger body mas index and waistline; whereas plant protein intake was associated with a smaller BMI and slimmer waist, indicating that the intakes of plant protein could offer a potential protective effect against overweight and obesity.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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Vergnaud AC, Norat T, Romaguera D, Mouw T, May AM, Travier N, Luan J, Wareham N, Slimani N, Rinaldi S, Couto E, Clavel-Chapelon F, Boutron-Ruault MC, Cottet V, Palli D, Agnoli C, Panico S, Tumino R, Vineis P, Agudo A, Rodriguez L, Sanchez MJ, Amiano P, Barricarte A, Huerta JM, Key TJ, Spencer EA, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Büchner FL, Orfanos P, Naska A, Trichopoulou A, Rohrmann S, Hermann S, Boeing H, Buijsse B, Johansson I, Hellstrom V, Manjer J, Wirfält E, Jakobsen MU, Overvad K, Tjonneland A, Halkjaer J, Lund E, Braaten T, Engeset D, Odysseos A, Riboli E, Peeters PH. Meat consumption and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug;92(2):398-407.
Astrup A, Clifton P, Layman DK, Mattes RD, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Meat intake's influence on body fatness cannot be assessed without measurement of body fat. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1274-5; author reply 1275-6.
Casas-Agustench P, Bulló M, Ros E, Basora J, Salas-Salvadó J; Nureta-PREDIMED investigators. Cross-sectional association of nut intake with adiposity in a Mediterranean population. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jul;21(7):518-25.
Lin Y, Bolca S, Vandevijvere S, De Vriese S, Mouratidou T, De Neve M, Polet A, Van Oyen H, Van Camp J, De Backer G, De Henauw S, Huybrechts I. Plant and animal protein intake and its association with overweight and obesity among the Belgian population. Br J Nutr. 2011 Apr;105(7):1106-16.
The findings of the EPIC study linking meat consumption to weight gain can be found in yesterday's video-of-the-day Meat and Weight Gain in the PANACEA Study. The Cattlemen were also vocal in questioning the federal dietary guidelines (see Dietary Guidelines: Corporate Guidance). For more on abdominal fat, see Does Eating Obesity Cause Obesity?, Fill in the Blank,Waistline Slimming Food, Waistline Expanding Food, and Milk Protein vs. Soy Protein. Tomorrow we'll cover the various ways excess body fat can be measured.
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In one of the largest nutrition studies ever, total meat consumption was significantly associated with weight gain in men and women, and the link remained even after controlling for calories.
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