from the take-your-protein-pills-and-put-your-helmet-on dept.
'Protein hunger' drives overeating, large-scale population study shows:
A year-long study of the dietary habits of 9,341 Australians has backed growing evidence that highly processed and refined foods are the leading contributor of rising obesity rates in the Western world.
The new study, in the latest issue of the journal Obesity conducted by the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre (CPC), was based on a national nutrition and physical activity survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and further backs the 'Protein Leverage Hypothesis'.
First put forward in 2005 by professors Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson, the Protein Leverage Hypothesis argues that people overeat fats and carbohydrates because of the body's strong appetite for protein, which the body actively favours over everything else. Because so much of modern diets consist of highly processed and refined foods – which are low in protein – people are driven to consume more energy-dense foods until they satisfy their protein demand.
[...] "It's increasingly clear that our bodies eat to satisfy a protein target," added Professor David Raubenheimer, the Leonard Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.
"But the problem is that the food in Western diets contains increasingly less protein. So, you have to consume more of it to reach your protein target, which effectively elevates your daily energy intake.
[...] Participants with a lower proportion of protein than recommended at the first meal consumed more discretionary foods – energy-dense foods high in saturated fats, sugars, salt, or alcohol – throughout the day, and less of the recommended five food groups (grains; vegetables/legumes; fruit; dairy and meats). Consequently, they had an overall poorer diet at each mealtime, with their percentage of protein energy decreasing even as their discretionary food intake rose – an effect the scientists call 'protein dilution'.
Amanda Grech, Zhixian Sui, Anna Rangan, et al., Macronutrient (im)balance drives energy intake in anobesogenic food environment: An ecological analysis [open], Obesity, 30, 11, 2022. DOI: 10.1002/oby.23578
(Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Saturday November 19, @05:39PM (6 children)
"I love America: the only place in the world where poor people are fat."
I think processed food should be heavily taxed and raw veggies and fruit should be subsidized to lower the price. Make it ridonkulously easier to eat well than eat poorly.
--- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @07:11PM
Bb..but where is the executive office and private corporate jet in that plan? I don't get it.
(Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday November 19, @10:00PM (2 children)
If low protein diets make you overeat carbohydrates and fats, then why weren't the Irish all fat before the potato famine hit?
Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @11:37PM
They sent all the fat ones to Boston? I don't know I can't figure it out.
(Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @10:46AM
They were farmers burning >5000 kcals a day?
By the way, potatoes are kind of a superfood for such scenarios - consume >5000 kcal (5-6kg) of potatoes and you meet the RDA for protein, fibre, vitamin C, omega 3, etc. Add enough milk and you get most of the other stuff that potatoes are lacking in (vitamin A, calcium, selenium, riboflavin, B12, etc ).
(Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday November 20, @06:47AM
How does this result tally with the fact that "food" (using the term loosely) companies have figured out, via years of lab research and to an incredibly fine degree, exactly how much sugar, salt, and fat they need to add to anything they sell to get people to eat more of it than they other side's sugar-laden gunk, and more of it than they otherwise would? This seems more like a secondary effect compared to "food" that's been designed in a lab to maximise our addiction to it.
(Score: 3, Funny) by RamiK on Saturday November 19, @05:47PM (14 children)
(Score: 4, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Saturday November 19, @06:22PM (7 children)
But - - - what happens when you add all that protein to an environment of preservatives, additives, food colorings, flavorings (artificial and natural) and it all reaches it's expiration date?
Sounds like a potential Frankenstein's monster!
If you don't have an assault rifle, sell your cloak and buy one. - Jesus
(Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @06:40PM
Same as mixing vinegar and baking soda.
(Score: 4, Interesting) by RamiK on Saturday November 19, @07:12PM (5 children)
Actually you sorta stumbled on one of the issues:
( https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23578 [wiley.com] )
Still, fundamentally, the core problem is the (lack of) protein content: Force the industry to meet a minimal macronutrients targets and the additives will no longer be required so they'll be removed.
But yeah, the problems isn't processed food but certain practices in the food industry and they can all be resolved by simply reverting the recipes to using protein powder instead of pectin(=starch=carbs) and MSG(=sodium+carbs).
If the field wants to stop being treated like a pseudoscience, it should focus on the actual problems at hand.
(Score: 2) by RamiK on Saturday November 19, @09:22PM
Typo correction: Glutamate is a non-essential amino acid, not a carbohydrate... Proofing is hard.
(Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday November 20, @02:55AM (3 children)
Meanwhile, TPTB tell us we need to reduce our meat intake.
(Score: 4, Informative) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @01:22PM (2 children)
Which powers-at-be? The USDA places meat in their "food pyramid" at excessive levels due to pressures from the beef industry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_pyramid_(nutrition)#Controversy [wikipedia.org]
The people telling you to eat less meat are some environmental and animal rights groups who oppose poultry and even fish on various grounds, some being more legitimate than others, and the American Heart Association that focuses on red meat and is telling you to get your proteins from plants, fish, poultry and dairy instead: https://pharm.org/red-meat/american-heart-association-study-cut-out-red-meat/ [pharm.org]
Regardless, the people in power are definitely not telling you eat less meat.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @06:31PM (1 child)
Bb,but I saw an advert on TV telling me the looney libtards want to make hamburgers illegal that's why I voted for a sensible moderate who loves Freedom.
(Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @09:22PM
Actually, the consumer advocacy concerns regarding pink slime [wikipedia.org] and plumping [wikipedia.org] can be alleviated by requiring manufacturers to meat protein content standards so no matter how much fat and water they inject poultry, ham and beef, it will still not cause the protein dilution affects on appetite as dissuaded in the article.
In fact, I've seen a paper examining adding pea protein powder to hamburgers as filler and the results are pretty good: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643821019277 [sciencedirect.com]
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @07:14PM (5 children)
You know they'll end up loading it up with fructose corn syrup, Purple(tm) and 5 types of electrolytes... Back to square one.
(Score: 4, Interesting) by RamiK on Saturday November 19, @08:13PM (4 children)
A more realistic concern is that they'll use incomplete proteins (those lacking in essential branched amino acids) since the regulator will "mistakenly" forget to require them to balance them out.
It's a common problem with plant based protein powders marketed to vegetarians.
(Score: 1) by anubi on Sunday November 20, @10:50AM (3 children)
We had a problem around 2007, when China used Melamine, an industrial chemical which contains Nitrogen, to economically fortify cat food so as to increase the protein assay to be reported on the label.
I am aware as I lost a momma cat and a litter of kittens to it.
Infant formula was also involved. Thousands of Chinese infants also lost kidney function and have to dialysis.
Messing around with synthetic foods is risky!
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
(Score: 1) by anubi on Sunday November 20, @11:14AM
A link to the recall list:
Both me and my neighbor lost cats. All of them had an unmistakeable odor prior to their passing.
We both fed our cats the same stuff...which was on that list
By the time the renal failure was diagnosed, the cats were goners.
Again, I post this as a reminder to manufacturers to be extremely cautious about screwing around with edibles, as even the melamine at the time appeared just an economical way to make numbers look better for the protein assay.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
(Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @01:08PM (1 child)
As I've already mentioned here [soylentnews.org] and here [soylentnews.org], the flour and rice on the shelf that you eat every day are already extensively engineered products that are fortified with multiple chemicals in the same manner. Besides, baby formulas and pet food are fundamentally engineered product since different animals and especially infants have different macro and micro nutrients needs than adult humans so formula and pet food factories are in the business of taking various products and powders and mixing them to get the right numbers.
(Score: 1) by anubi on Monday November 21, @01:50AM
Yup. Those of us who are aware of this stuff need to bring it into view every chance we get!
Thanks! From all of us!
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
(Score: 4, Interesting) by Mr Big in the Pants on Saturday November 19, @06:45PM (2 children)
Holy hell, I mean, what ground breaking research.
You mean eating 'low fat' processed foods is not the way to a healthier life?
And eating high-fat processed foods can kill you?
Lean protein and fibre is important??
Who would have thought!?!?!?
(Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @06:56PM (1 child)
The research claim here is that they've shown the protein leverage hypothesis is true, that it isn't as much as the processed foods are bad for you, but that they are low in protein so people keep eating them until they've satisfied their protein need.
(Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @07:16PM
For the good of the nation, I will allow customers to fill their protein needs at my magical fountain of protein.
(Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @06:50PM (15 children)
This is a great example of one of the biggest problems in the world: communication problems. Here: inexact language.
We're interconnected more than ever, right? That means words being exchanged, right? And more than ever, it seems, people are super-"triggered" by words.
But, what if we don't understand the meaning of a word? Worse, what if we're so sure we understand the word used, that when the speaker tries to clarify, we say "oh no, I heard that word you used, you meant XYZ and I'm
triggeredoffended by that word and what I'm sure you meant by it."
Case in point: "processed". WTF does that mean? Too many people take it to mean chemical additives, colorings, preservatives, things bad for you like high-fructose corn syrup.
But wait, what about a factory that takes very good, clean, wholesome ingredients, and mixes, cooks, and packages them? And they are all USDA certified organic? NO preservatives or additives at all? It's still called "processed" because that's the definition of the word- a process has been done, but in no way means harmed or will cause harm.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @07:19PM (5 children)
Because such a thing does not exist. What's the point of building a factory that you can't Value Add(tm) some junk into your product to satisfy shareholders' craving for blood?
(Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Saturday November 19, @07:42PM (2 children)
Shareholders don't crave for blood. They crave for money. If you find a way to make more money with good food than with bad food, shareholders will opt for making good food without hesitation.
The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @07:49PM
Aw that's so cute! However, in our system, there needs to be strict adherence to the needs of executives, political leaders and bonuses.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @05:47AM
Absolutely, every time? You are very wrong, and you have at least two very big problems of extrapolation and grandiosity.
(Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @05:41AM (1 child)
Hmm. Odd. I work in such a place.
I wonder if I'm actually dreaming when I think I'm at work.
I wish I was dreaming that I'm being trolled.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:16AM
Excellent post comrade. Just don't go in Room 101.
(Score: 5, Informative) by RamiK on Saturday November 19, @10:22PM (5 children)
Processed foods are contrasted with whole foods by the removal of nutrients through various processes (mechanical... thermal... chemical...). A simple example is white flour vs whole flour: Both are processed by the removal of the chaff which has no nutrient content and the milling. However, white flour goes a step further and removes everything except the endosperm while whole flour retains the germ and bran which do contain multiple nutrients. In fact, white flour losses so much that it's necessary to reintroduced refined iron, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid to prevent people from developing deficiencies.
Anyhow, the categorization between whole vs. processed (and the villainization of processed foods) becomes problematic around egg whites (raw or powdered), cheeses/whey and a certain oils. That is, some forms of separation of nutrients nets you with healthier products (less bad cholesterol and/or more protein) and won't cause the much-dreaded protein dilution since it doesn't introduce additional carbs and fats. Admittedly though, the datasets do take that into consideration.
(Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday November 19, @10:48PM (4 children)
That is true, but it leaves out the fact that "highly processed" foods, like white rice and white flour, have a much longer shelf life, because even bacteria have a hard time living on them.
(Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @12:07AM (3 children)
Factories don't stock on flour since the mill's supply is always stable thanks to wheat grains having a 30 years shelf life.
(Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday November 20, @12:39AM (2 children)
Factories may not, but other places do. And shelf life can determine what they prefer to stock.
(Actually, the reason white rice became popular in China was because of it's increased shelf life. I'm not sure who made the decisions, though. It could have been the British, since I think they either developed the process, or developed the way to do it cheaply. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_polisher [wikipedia.org] )
(Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:21AM
Ironic that the Chinese are now bringing nuclear technology to the backward British. But at least they won the 1966 World Cup worth more than any investment in talent and reality.
(Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @12:40PM
Sorta but not quite. Technically rice similarly stores for 10-30 years just like wheat. The problem is that the husk adds a lot of useless volume even before removing the germ and barn ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJgDswVRuXA [youtube.com] about 8 minutes into it when harvesting or a minute before planting ) so some processing is called for before shipping regardless and the extra step to removing the germ and barn ( and getting superior shelf life ) is trivial at that point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lRH7AjdgXk [youtube.com] ( lowest tech video I could find of modern rice milling as done in Iran showing how the polishing step from brown to white doesn't even enter into it while functioning as a form of QC so not doing it is just wasteful ).
Anyhow, in the US and China mills are required to fortify white rice with the missing B vitamins so you're only missing 0.5% fibers and maybe some water content? Honestly I only know this stuff from last year when Japan issued some 300 years of rice futures and I dug into the whole grain futures thing out of curiosity mostly so I'm no expert.
Regardless, the point I'm trying to convey is how "processed foods vs. whole foods" categorization deals with the micro-nutrients removal and how fortification is already used to address the issues that was found out in the past so adding protein powder into the mix now is a valid solution that's well within standard practices in the industry. So, it's not a question of "communication" so much as a question of who the target audience is and how the quacks on TV talking about "natural" and "organic" are just being ignorant of how food is made.
(Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @11:58PM (1 child)
I knew I wouldn't have to scroll too far for this, as it's a common refrain when this topic comes up. Of course in the strictest sense of the word, there is nothing wrong with food that is processed. It's the *type of process* that matters. In the common vernacular, the phrase "processed food" has come to mean roughly: Food that is prepared by corporations in an industrial manner, with the primary objectives of said processing being profit, addiction, shelf life, and other characteristics as opposed to proper nutrition. Often involving the addition of sugars, removal and/or replacement of vitamins, and fortification with nutrients and the residues of chemicals such as pesticides and hormones used to facilitate a more profitable outcome for the companies..
Everybody knows what we're talking about, but we haven't found a way to clarify it in a way that would roll off the tongue easily while still satisfying the pedants. While it is indeed possible to produce industrial food that is still wholesome, it's not common. Asking everybody to analyze every purchase is not practical. It's simpler to say that you should simply avoid the frozen aisle, things that come in aluminum pop-top cans or cardboard boxes, etc. If you do buy foods that come in such packaging, you need to read the label more carefully to see if they're actually not so bad.
Compare and contrast with the outer aisles containing things such as fruit, vegetables, and raw mean which might still have some "processing" involved and are subject to other qualifiers such as organic vs. GMO and... don't get me started on how GMO and selective breeding are *not* the same thing, because they definitely aren't and yet some people will insist they are.
To reiterate--the problem is complex, but people are simple. A "check engine" light on our food may not satisfy the geeks, but it's probably the most practical way to help prevent people from getting stranded on the food highway.
That, and we should probably just fire the FDA and copy the EU if we can't fix our regulatory capture problem. I mean, I'm sure they're not perfect but we're a shitshow compared to them.
(Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @05:39AM
Again, all I'm saying is I object to use of the word "processed". It's like people calling a cell phone a "device". "Process" a very generic word. Assigning a very specific meaning, like bleaching flour, needs to stop. Use a different word or coin a word.
I work in a food processing factory, but when I tell people that, they get the very wrong idea. I know exceedingly well what is and what is not done. Nothing is done to alter or damage the food in any way. Cooked foods like spaghetti sauce are bottled right out of the kettles, while still hot, into pre-steamed jars, and lids are immediately put on, also steamed. Other products like sodas are Pasteurized because they absolutely must be. It's a process.
Even bottling water is a process, so I'm going to start calling bottled water 'processed water'. That was sarcasm for those who whooshed.
I'm not a wordsmith, so I don't know what word to use, I'm just sick of inexact language, redefining words, using very generic words for very specific meanings, then wondering why the world has so much miscommunication. Small-minded people started the word misuse trend, and all I'm saying is that intelligent people should do all they can to rectify the situation.
And for those trolls who think I'm being pedantic, it's not pedantry, it's akin to "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"- people don't know what is okay to eat because they know everything is "processed", so they give up. Which is why the "Certified Organic" label had to be created.
Unless you pick it yourself, you can't be sure what was done. Even then you can't be sure what pesticides, if any, or fertilizers, or other growth enhancers have been used.
A good friend who grew up in Germany. She came to the US to go to uni, got an MBA, worked for years, but was horrified by our food. She gave up her corporate jobs, got an RD (registered dietitian), started a food health company, and is much happier that she's doing something more important than corporate pie charts, Venn diagrams, etc.
I like and agree with what you said about selective breeding vs. GMO. You get it. :)
(Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @10:50AM
(Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Sunday November 20, @02:32AM (3 children)
I've read a couple articles over the past few years, explaining how artificial sweeteners contribute to obesity.
Your taste buds send signals to the stomach, which anticipates some good, sweet fruit, or some such. Stomach gears up to process sugar, along with whatever accompanies the sugar. After some time, stomach decides it was a false alarm, there is no sugar coming. Stomach sends a signal to the brain, "Hey, I was anticipating some good stuff, and never got it! I'm hungry!" So, brain obeys stomach, and looks around for munchies to fill that empty spot.
Better to drink the sugar-sweetened beverage to start with. Or, better yet, just drink water, or milk, or plain unsweetened tea or coffee. None of those sends false alarms to the stomach, that remind you how empty the stomach is.
If you don't have an assault rifle, sell your cloak and buy one. - Jesus
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:24AM
That's why we developed THIRST interceptor. The only product guaranteed to INTERCEPT your thirst. Look at these CAPITAL LETTERS! You know to obey.
(Score: 3, Touché) by istartedi on Sunday November 20, @07:59AM
I'm really not that big a fan of memes, but something about this made me want to jump on over to a generator and throw this together [imgflip.com].
(Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @02:24PM
Currently, it's seems the consumption of acesulfame potassium in soft drinks leads to reduction in energy intake:
( https://academic.oup.com/advances/advance-article/doi/10.1093/advances/nmac072/6691418 [oup.com] )
However, the EU been running (2020-2025 I believe) a massive collaborative project experimenting with and reviewing different sweeteners over fairly large sample sizes and different experimental settings for everything from safety to sustainability that is producing new papers every other month so there's more to learn: https://sweetproject.eu/ [sweetproject.eu] https://sweetproject.eu/sweet-new-investigators-group-update/ [sweetproject.eu]
Still, so far, sweeteners in soft drinks are almost definitely preferable to non-diet soft drinks and probably even just drinking water.