Meat as bad as sugar

| Post published on November 30, 2016
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Meat is as much to blame for excess weight as sugar

Sensational research that analysed data from 170 countries resulted in an important finding in two papers. After adjusting for factors such as people’s activity levels, income, lifestyle and calorie consumption, meat intake was directly and significantly linked to excess weight. In fact, meat turned out to be as bad as sugar and these two food groups together explain almost all the variation in people’s body weights.

The papers describe in detail why and how meat is linked to obesity. If we eat more than enough food, the fats and carbohydrates are digested first and supply all the energy we require. Meat protein is digested later and the body only needs to use a small proportion of it so most of the energy it provides is surplus to requirements and is converted to fat which is then stored in your body.

The authors concluded that public health strategies should be put in place to reduce people’s meat consumption.

You and Henneberg, 2016. Meat consumption providing a surplus energy in modern diet contributes to obesity prevalence: an ecological analysis. BMC Nutrition. 2 (1)

You and Henneberg, 2016. Meat in modern diet, just as bad as sugar, correlates with worldwide obesity: An ecological analysis. Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences. 6 (4) 517.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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