When discussing weight loss sugar is always the first thing that comes up. Drop all that coke you’re drinking every day and you’ll start to see a noticeable weight change in no time at all.
And then there’s low carb diets where you throw away the buns and start wrapping burgers in lettuce leaves. But what about meat itself? This isn’t a question I really want to ask since I’m a voracious meat eater but it’s been answered by Wenpeng You and Maciej Henneberg of the University of Adelaide anyway.
Their goal was to see whether meat was as bad as sugar as a contributing factor to obesity, which is considered a health epidemic.
The study obtained country specific data regarding BMI and obesity. This data was then paired with per capita per day availability of major food groups (meat, sugar, starch crops, fibers, fats and fruits), total calories, per capita GDP, urbanization and physical inactivity prevalence.
The study found that sugar and meat availability significantly correlated with obesity prevalence to the same extent and that dietary guidelines should also advocate to minimize meat consumption to avoid obesity.
The paper also pointed out that “A survey of approximately 100,000 North American members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church indicated that vegan members had the lowest BMI values, while mean BMI increased gradually with increasing amounts of animal protein consumed by lacto-ovo vegetarians, pesco-vegetarians and semi-vegetarians reaching the highest value in non-vegetarians.”
We crave sugar and meat because they pack a lot of energy in such small portions. But as our chances of dying in the forest naked in the winter while chasing a deer grows increasingly less likely it’s just not necessary to have that much energy stored.