Log in Subscribe Join Grass Roots Action

Study: Low Protein Diets More Likely To Lead In Increases In Body Fat

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

A diet high in protein helps build lean muscle mass and while low protein diets are more apt to lead to increases in body fat according to a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA).

The study led by George A. Bray, M.D., chief of clinical obesity and metabolism at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, included 25 people who lived in a carefully controlled research facility for up to three months, exercising very little. For two of those months, all of the men and women intentionally ate about 1,000 calories per day more than they needed to maintain their weight, but they consumed different amounts of protein, separating into high, normal and low protein intake groups.

All three groups in the study gained weight, suggesting calories are more important than protein intake when it comes to overall weight gain. Those in the low-protein group saw less weight gain than participants in the normal and high protein groups, but researchers reported that the low-protein dieters stored more energy as fat and lost lean body mass. By contrast, the people eating more protein gained lean body mass, burned more calories at rest and stored only half the excess calories as fat.

An editorial in the same issue of JAMA suggests that the results may explain why people who eat protein-rich diets tend to do better at losing weight and keeping it off over the long term.

For more information go to http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/307/1/47.short.

 share on facebook  share on twitter