Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pasta makes you slim? Afraid not.

Pasta is one of staple foods in Western countries. It is loved especially by Italians. In Japan, spaghetti is very commonly consumed at lunch.

Pasta is made from grain, as well as bread. It contains much carbonate. Therefore, many believe eating pasta will make you fatty. However, an academic report against this idea was published recently.

Mail Online: Pasta DOESN'T make you fat - it actually helps weight loss, (Italian) researchers claim

In this study, 23,000 people living in Italy were asked what kind of food they take. Through analyzing the gathered data, the researchers investigated the relationship between the body proportion of the participants and their consumption of pasta. As a result, it seems that taking pasta is not associated with increased body weight. Rather it is likely enjoying pasta brings you lower waist circumference.

It looks an amazing outcome. This paper was published in Nutrition and Diabetes, an academic journal relevant to Nature. However, being not an exception of cross-sectional studies, this surprising result cannot apply to real.

In the article, participants were randomly selected from residents in a couple of certain regions. It is an appropriate way of a survey. In the participants, one-third of women and a half of men were overweight, and more than one-fourth in both genders were obese. This proportion may resemble the total population of Italy and other European countries, but may different from that in the US or Japan.

In a crude analysis, the obtained records suggested a positive association between pasta intake and body mass index. Thus, the more you take pasta, the more you are heavy. This result is quite usual.

However, the researchers considered that obese women participants could underestimate their energy intake, because the reported energy intake was lower in obese women. Therefore, the author elaborated the energy residuals methodology to estimate the real energy intake.

Nutrition and Diabetes: Association of pasta consumption with body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio: results from Moli-sani and INHES studies

I have no idea how the author adjusted the amount of energy the participants underreported. First of all, when participants are dishonest to record their diet, the outcome of analysis must not be trustworthy.

Also, the amount of pasta intake is questionable to influence the body proportion, as mentioned in the article above. Only 50g per day was consumed by the participants. I do not believe such small portion of pasta has an impact on body weight.

Other factors have not been described in this paper. The researchers must have examined many possibilities in this survey with such a large sample size. If there were no other decisive factors associate with body proportion, it suggests that any one-issue diets have no effect, ironically.

Balanced food and adequate exercise are essential to keep your body beautiful.

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