Putting it in Perspective: New Research Confirms Reducing Overall Caloric Intake Should Be Our Focus
July 29, 2016
Focusing on a single nutrient in the fight against obesity doesn’t work. Emphasizing overall calories should be our focus, according to new research from the University of Glasgow. 1
The researchers examined the diets of more than 100,000 people in the UK who are part of an ongoing health study. They found that obesity is more strongly associated with total energy intake than any individual macronutrient, with fat being the biggest contributor to caloric intake and the macronutrient with the strongest link to obesity. There is a positive, but weak, correlation between obesity and absolute energy derived from sugar but after controlling for calories, fat remains positively associated with obesity while sugar is negatively associated (meaning sugar intake and body weight are inversely related when calories are equal).
“The critical message is that people need to reduce their overall calories,” says Jill Pell, the director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and co-lead author of the report.