Obesity is linked to some of the leading causes of preventable, premature deathTrusted Source, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Between 1999 and 2020, population obesity ratesTrusted Source in the United States increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. First proposed in 2005, the protein leverage hypothesis (PLH)Trusted Source is a theory for the cause of obesity. It states that if the body’s needs for protein consumption are unmet, fat and carbohydrate consumption increases, dampening satiety signals and increasing food intake.
StudiesTrusted Source have shown that as the percentage of energy from protein has decreased in American diets, obesity rates have risen. Another study found that inpatient adults exposed to ultra-processed diets ingested more carbohydrates, fat, and total energy than those on unprocessed diets and consequently gained weight.
Understanding the health effects of highly processed foods and low protein intake could improve obesity prevention strategies. Recently, researchers analyzed population health data to understand the relationship between protein intake and obesity. They found a link between lower protein intake during the day’s first meal and higher overall food intake throughout the day.
Excerpted from Medical News Today