Many people believe eating too much pasta will make you fat.
This is unsurprising because eating too much pasta makes you fat, just like eating too much of anything makes you fat.
Now an allegedly groundbreaking study conducted by the Department of Epidemiology at IRCCS Neuromed in Pozzilli, claims pasta consumption is in fact associated with a reduced likelihood of both general and abdominal obesity. Or so the reports say.
The research, published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, apparently shows that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, but quite the opposite. “Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio“.
According to Licia Iacoviello at the Institute: “pasta is often considered not adequate when you want to lose weight. And some people completely ban it from their meals. In light of this research, we can say that this is not a correct attitude. We’re talking about a fundamental component of Italian Mediterranean tradition, and there is no reason to do without it. The message emerging from this study… is that the Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in the first place), is good to your health“.
But a closer examination of the study shows much of their data was “self-reported”- essentially asking people to be honest about their weight and waist size over the ‘phone, rather than taking measurements, plus they asked people to ‘remember’ what they ate. This is a notoriously unreliable methodology. What could possibly go wrong?
Yes, it’s true that many studies have demonstrated the health benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet but the most telling phrase in the release is from Dr Iacoviello: “…the Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation…“
This is true of any diet, when consumed in moderation. Now read their statements again – we looked at a lot of people who ate “pasta according to individuals’ needs” – that is, they didn’t over-eat. And they didn’t get fat!!
In other news, fire is hot. Water is wet…