- A European study of almost 400,000 adults found that eating meat was linked with weight gain, even in people taking in the same number of calories.
- Although it is not clear why meat would lead to weight gain in people eating the same number of calories, one theory is that energy-dense foods like meat alter how the body regulates appetite control.
- The study looked at data from adults taking part in a large project looking at the link between diet and cancer.
- Overall, the researchers found that meat consumption was associated with weight gain in both men and women.
- More detailed analyses showed that the link was still significant after taking into account overall calorie intake, physical activity and other factors which may have skewed the results.
- The team calculated that in people who ate the same number of calories, an extra 250g of meat a day - equal to a small steak - led to an additional weight gain of 2kg (5lbs) over five years.
Let's hear from the British Dietetic Association;
- Sian Porter, a dietician and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said there were caveats in the study, including the fact that at the end-weight was self-reported.
Study leader Dr Anne-Claire Vergnaud said: "Decreasing the amount of meat alone would not be an adequate weight loss strategy.". Now that is something we can agree on.
*UPDATE - Dr Briffa has skewered the research here!