White Bread Linked to High Obesity Risk

You'd better switch to hearty whole grain bread, if you must eat bread.

New research from the University of Navarra in Spain suggests eating two or more servings of white bread a day increases the risk of obesity 40 percent.

The findings, presented this week at the European Congress on Obesity, held in Belgium, evaluated the relationship between white bread and weight change within several thousand study participants in Mediterranean Spain, where white bread is the staple.

The higher risk of being overweight or obese in those who consumed two or more daily helpings was compared to individuals who limited their white bread intake to one serving per week.

For an average length of five years, the researchers followed a total of 9,267 graduates of the school's SUN project, an ongoing study on the affects of diet on various health conditions.

The results revealed that generalized consumption of bread, which included types of white as well as whole wheat breads, was not associated with a jump in weight gain.

However, there was a definite risk boost when only white bread was eaten.

"The nature of the carbohydrate content of fiber and other micronutrients in wholemeal bread and slower absorption of carbohydrates may explain the lack of association between consumption of these and obesity," the study authors concluded.

Another study in the mid-2000s by Tufts University in Boston found ... the white bread group clearly demonstrated three times the gut gain of those in the fiber-consuming group. [emphasis mine]

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Replies to This Discussion

But the question is, when people eat white bread, what are they not eating that they would otherwise eat?

Also, eating white bread seems likely associated with eating less fiber in general and other unhealthy habits. No surprise that eating less fiber would be related to obesity. 

It's unlikely that white bread vs whole wheat would make such a difference by itself, everything else being equal. 




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