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Processed foods cause more weight gain

PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,492Member Member Posts: 1,492Member Member
Thread title paraphrased from article, links/sources etc within article.

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-processed-foods-lead-to-weight-gain-nih-study-2019-5
Groundbreaking research from the US National Institutes of Health suggests for the first time that the relationship is causal: no matter how nutritious they are, processed foods lead people to eat more and gain weight.

Personally speaking, the inability/unwillingness to release the food I'm holding and/or stop shoving it into my mouth caused me to gain weight, but to further elaborate, much of that was chicken/fish/veggies/lean beef and so on. I did not partake of massive amounts of what are currently thought of as "processed" foods.

But this seems to be getting thrust back into the public eye, so...thoughts?
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Replies

  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,492Member Member Posts: 1,492Member Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Reading the article, the study's conclusion is more accurately described as "people who eat more processed food tend to eat more calories to feel full which causes them to gain weight." It's an important distinction for us calorie counters. I think processed food falls in the same category as added sugar and a bunch of other stuff, where it makes sense to recommend people limit it if they are not tracking their calories and just eating what they feel like until they feel full. But if you are tracking, and fitting things like processed foods and added sugar within your calorie goal, and finding yourself able to stay within it, then there is no real need to limit it.

    So on our end as calorie counters, I think if a person has trouble staying within their goals because they are constantly hungry, and they also eat a lot of processed food, then reducing their processed food consumption may be beneficial to try to see if it helps control their hunger cravings. But if they are able to successfully eat it within their goals, it won't cause any more or less weight gain than any non-processed food.
    That's basically the point of the article. From the National institute link:
    Increased availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods have been associated with rising obesity prevalence, but scientists have not yet demonstrated that ultra-processed food causes obesity or adverse health outcomes. Researchers at the NIH investigated whether people ate more calories when exposed to a diet composed of ultra-processed foods compared with a diet composed of unprocessed foods. Despite the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets being matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients, people consumed more calories when exposed to the ultra-processed diet as compared to the unprocessed diet. Furthermore, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Limiting consumption of ultra-processed food may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.

    But the statement that both diets for the test subject were matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients - does that mean calorie amount? They aren't clear there and it gives the impression that people are gaining weight by simply eating those foods.
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 2,185Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,185Member, Premium Member

    I agree that wasn't clear, but to me that meant they were presented with similarly dense and caloric food in the processed and unprocessed group, and the processed group at more of that food. From the article:
    The participants' diets were precisely matched so that regardless of whether they were offered processed or unprocessed meals, they were given exactly the same amount of protein, fat, carbs, salt, and sugar to eat. They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows. They spent two weeks eating a processed diet, then switched and did two more weeks eating fresh meals.
    Participants consumed, on average, 500 more calories a day on the ultra-processed diet, when meals included foods like hot dogs, freezer pancakes, canned chili, and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

    It doesn't seem that they are trying to make any claims that eating the same exact calories of processed or unprocessed food will result in weight gain. It's not even clear if the experiment recorded their weight gain. It was more about the caloric value of the food eaten if left to their own choices.
    edited May 16
  • psychod787psychod787 Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Reading the article, the study's conclusion is more accurately described as "people who eat more processed food tend to eat more calories to feel full which causes them to gain weight." It's an important distinction for us calorie counters. I think processed food falls in the same category as added sugar and a bunch of other stuff, where it makes sense to recommend people limit it if they are not tracking their calories and just eating what they feel like until they feel full. But if you are tracking, and fitting things like processed foods and added sugar within your calorie goal, and finding yourself able to stay within it, then there is no real need to limit it.

    So on our end as calorie counters, I think if a person has trouble staying within their goals because they are constantly hungry, and they also eat a lot of processed food, then reducing their processed food consumption may be beneficial to try to see if it helps control their hunger cravings. But if they are able to successfully eat it within their goals, it won't cause any more or less weight gain than any non-processed food.
    That's basically the point of the article. From the National institute link:
    Increased availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods have been associated with rising obesity prevalence, but scientists have not yet demonstrated that ultra-processed food causes obesity or adverse health outcomes. Researchers at the NIH investigated whether people ate more calories when exposed to a diet composed of ultra-processed foods compared with a diet composed of unprocessed foods. Despite the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets being matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients, people consumed more calories when exposed to the ultra-processed diet as compared to the unprocessed diet. Furthermore, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Limiting consumption of ultra-processed food may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.

    But the statement that both diets for the test subject were matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients - does that mean calorie amount? They aren't clear there and it gives the impression that people are gaining weight by simply eating those foods.

    I think they are clear they aren't matched for calorie amount. "They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows." The matching was because they did things like add fiber supplement to lemonade in the ultraprocessed option.

    The Kevin hall study was.. carbs, fat, protein and fiber. They were all equated..
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 7,955Member Member Posts: 7,955Member Member
    This makes sense. I always end up adding more processed or hyperpalatable (for me) foods when I'm trying to gain, it's just easier to eat even when I'm feeling full. In a deficit though it doesn't always work. If I have a donut or something as a snack my mental hunger/satisfaction will take over and I still won't overeat, I may even undereat because I feel like the donut took up more calories than it really did (assuming I'm not tracking).
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,492Member Member Posts: 1,492Member Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    I agree that wasn't clear, but to me that meant they were presented with similarly dense and caloric food in the processed and unprocessed group, and the processed group at more of that food. From the article:
    The participants' diets were precisely matched so that regardless of whether they were offered processed or unprocessed meals, they were given exactly the same amount of protein, fat, carbs, salt, and sugar to eat. They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows. They spent two weeks eating a processed diet, then switched and did two more weeks eating fresh meals.
    Participants consumed, on average, 500 more calories a day on the ultra-processed diet, when meals included foods like hot dogs, freezer pancakes, canned chili, and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

    It doesn't seem that they are trying to make any claims that eating the same exact calories of processed or unprocessed food will result in weight gain. It's not even clear if the experiment recorded their weight gain. It was more about the caloric value of the food eaten if left to their own choices.
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Reading the article, the study's conclusion is more accurately described as "people who eat more processed food tend to eat more calories to feel full which causes them to gain weight." It's an important distinction for us calorie counters. I think processed food falls in the same category as added sugar and a bunch of other stuff, where it makes sense to recommend people limit it if they are not tracking their calories and just eating what they feel like until they feel full. But if you are tracking, and fitting things like processed foods and added sugar within your calorie goal, and finding yourself able to stay within it, then there is no real need to limit it.

    So on our end as calorie counters, I think if a person has trouble staying within their goals because they are constantly hungry, and they also eat a lot of processed food, then reducing their processed food consumption may be beneficial to try to see if it helps control their hunger cravings. But if they are able to successfully eat it within their goals, it won't cause any more or less weight gain than any non-processed food.
    That's basically the point of the article. From the National institute link:
    Increased availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods have been associated with rising obesity prevalence, but scientists have not yet demonstrated that ultra-processed food causes obesity or adverse health outcomes. Researchers at the NIH investigated whether people ate more calories when exposed to a diet composed of ultra-processed foods compared with a diet composed of unprocessed foods. Despite the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets being matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients, people consumed more calories when exposed to the ultra-processed diet as compared to the unprocessed diet. Furthermore, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Limiting consumption of ultra-processed food may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.

    But the statement that both diets for the test subject were matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients - does that mean calorie amount? They aren't clear there and it gives the impression that people are gaining weight by simply eating those foods.

    I think they are clear they aren't matched for calorie amount. "They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows." The matching was because they did things like add fiber supplement to lemonade in the ultraprocessed option.

    Ok I misunderstood that then, thanks - from my standpoint though it does seem like there's something here worth looking into. The more of that type of food I eat, the more I want and I'm not alone apparently.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,553Member Member Posts: 2,553Member Member
    psychod787 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Reading the article, the study's conclusion is more accurately described as "people who eat more processed food tend to eat more calories to feel full which causes them to gain weight." It's an important distinction for us calorie counters. I think processed food falls in the same category as added sugar and a bunch of other stuff, where it makes sense to recommend people limit it if they are not tracking their calories and just eating what they feel like until they feel full. But if you are tracking, and fitting things like processed foods and added sugar within your calorie goal, and finding yourself able to stay within it, then there is no real need to limit it.

    So on our end as calorie counters, I think if a person has trouble staying within their goals because they are constantly hungry, and they also eat a lot of processed food, then reducing their processed food consumption may be beneficial to try to see if it helps control their hunger cravings. But if they are able to successfully eat it within their goals, it won't cause any more or less weight gain than any non-processed food.
    That's basically the point of the article. From the National institute link:
    Increased availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods have been associated with rising obesity prevalence, but scientists have not yet demonstrated that ultra-processed food causes obesity or adverse health outcomes. Researchers at the NIH investigated whether people ate more calories when exposed to a diet composed of ultra-processed foods compared with a diet composed of unprocessed foods. Despite the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets being matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients, people consumed more calories when exposed to the ultra-processed diet as compared to the unprocessed diet. Furthermore, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Limiting consumption of ultra-processed food may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.

    But the statement that both diets for the test subject were matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients - does that mean calorie amount? They aren't clear there and it gives the impression that people are gaining weight by simply eating those foods.

    I think they are clear they aren't matched for calorie amount. "They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows." The matching was because they did things like add fiber supplement to lemonade in the ultraprocessed option.

    The Kevin hall study was.. carbs, fat, protein and fiber. They were all equated..

    There are multiple Kevin Hall studies. This one was not matched for calories since you could eat as much as you liked.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,553Member Member Posts: 2,553Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    I agree that wasn't clear, but to me that meant they were presented with similarly dense and caloric food in the processed and unprocessed group, and the processed group at more of that food. From the article:
    The participants' diets were precisely matched so that regardless of whether they were offered processed or unprocessed meals, they were given exactly the same amount of protein, fat, carbs, salt, and sugar to eat. They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows. They spent two weeks eating a processed diet, then switched and did two more weeks eating fresh meals.
    Participants consumed, on average, 500 more calories a day on the ultra-processed diet, when meals included foods like hot dogs, freezer pancakes, canned chili, and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

    It doesn't seem that they are trying to make any claims that eating the same exact calories of processed or unprocessed food will result in weight gain. It's not even clear if the experiment recorded their weight gain. It was more about the caloric value of the food eaten if left to their own choices.
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Reading the article, the study's conclusion is more accurately described as "people who eat more processed food tend to eat more calories to feel full which causes them to gain weight." It's an important distinction for us calorie counters. I think processed food falls in the same category as added sugar and a bunch of other stuff, where it makes sense to recommend people limit it if they are not tracking their calories and just eating what they feel like until they feel full. But if you are tracking, and fitting things like processed foods and added sugar within your calorie goal, and finding yourself able to stay within it, then there is no real need to limit it.

    So on our end as calorie counters, I think if a person has trouble staying within their goals because they are constantly hungry, and they also eat a lot of processed food, then reducing their processed food consumption may be beneficial to try to see if it helps control their hunger cravings. But if they are able to successfully eat it within their goals, it won't cause any more or less weight gain than any non-processed food.
    That's basically the point of the article. From the National institute link:
    Increased availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods have been associated with rising obesity prevalence, but scientists have not yet demonstrated that ultra-processed food causes obesity or adverse health outcomes. Researchers at the NIH investigated whether people ate more calories when exposed to a diet composed of ultra-processed foods compared with a diet composed of unprocessed foods. Despite the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets being matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients, people consumed more calories when exposed to the ultra-processed diet as compared to the unprocessed diet. Furthermore, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Limiting consumption of ultra-processed food may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.

    But the statement that both diets for the test subject were matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients - does that mean calorie amount? They aren't clear there and it gives the impression that people are gaining weight by simply eating those foods.

    I think they are clear they aren't matched for calorie amount. "They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows." The matching was because they did things like add fiber supplement to lemonade in the ultraprocessed option.

    Ok I misunderstood that then, thanks - from my standpoint though it does seem like there's something here worth looking into. The more of that type of food I eat, the more I want and I'm not alone apparently.

    Eating foods where you find it easier to or naturally stop eating at a maintenance or deficit calorie number would be "something here worth looking into."

    I suspect the results would be somewhat different with different choices for what constitutes the whole foods diet, however.
  • psychod787psychod787 Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member
  • psychod787psychod787 Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Reading the article, the study's conclusion is more accurately described as "people who eat more processed food tend to eat more calories to feel full which causes them to gain weight." It's an important distinction for us calorie counters. I think processed food falls in the same category as added sugar and a bunch of other stuff, where it makes sense to recommend people limit it if they are not tracking their calories and just eating what they feel like until they feel full. But if you are tracking, and fitting things like processed foods and added sugar within your calorie goal, and finding yourself able to stay within it, then there is no real need to limit it.

    So on our end as calorie counters, I think if a person has trouble staying within their goals because they are constantly hungry, and they also eat a lot of processed food, then reducing their processed food consumption may be beneficial to try to see if it helps control their hunger cravings. But if they are able to successfully eat it within their goals, it won't cause any more or less weight gain than any non-processed food.
    That's basically the point of the article. From the National institute link:
    Increased availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods have been associated with rising obesity prevalence, but scientists have not yet demonstrated that ultra-processed food causes obesity or adverse health outcomes. Researchers at the NIH investigated whether people ate more calories when exposed to a diet composed of ultra-processed foods compared with a diet composed of unprocessed foods. Despite the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets being matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients, people consumed more calories when exposed to the ultra-processed diet as compared to the unprocessed diet. Furthermore, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Limiting consumption of ultra-processed food may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.

    But the statement that both diets for the test subject were matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients - does that mean calorie amount? They aren't clear there and it gives the impression that people are gaining weight by simply eating those foods.

    I think they are clear they aren't matched for calorie amount. "They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows." The matching was because they did things like add fiber supplement to lemonade in the ultraprocessed option.

    The Kevin hall study was.. carbs, fat, protein and fiber. They were all equated..

    There are multiple Kevin Hall studies. This one was not matched for calories since you could eat as much as you liked.

    The meals were all equated... thus showing the overconsumption of the Hyperpalitable..
  • psychod787psychod787 Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,003Member, Premium Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Reading the article, the study's conclusion is more accurately described as "people who eat more processed food tend to eat more calories to feel full which causes them to gain weight." It's an important distinction for us calorie counters. I think processed food falls in the same category as added sugar and a bunch of other stuff, where it makes sense to recommend people limit it if they are not tracking their calories and just eating what they feel like until they feel full. But if you are tracking, and fitting things like processed foods and added sugar within your calorie goal, and finding yourself able to stay within it, then there is no real need to limit it.

    So on our end as calorie counters, I think if a person has trouble staying within their goals because they are constantly hungry, and they also eat a lot of processed food, then reducing their processed food consumption may be beneficial to try to see if it helps control their hunger cravings. But if they are able to successfully eat it within their goals, it won't cause any more or less weight gain than any non-processed food.
    That's basically the point of the article. From the National institute link:
    Increased availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods have been associated with rising obesity prevalence, but scientists have not yet demonstrated that ultra-processed food causes obesity or adverse health outcomes. Researchers at the NIH investigated whether people ate more calories when exposed to a diet composed of ultra-processed foods compared with a diet composed of unprocessed foods. Despite the ultra-processed and unprocessed diets being matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients, people consumed more calories when exposed to the ultra-processed diet as compared to the unprocessed diet. Furthermore, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight on the unprocessed diet. Limiting consumption of ultra-processed food may be an effective strategy for obesity prevention and treatment.

    But the statement that both diets for the test subject were matched for daily presented calories, sugar, fat, fiber, and macronutrients - does that mean calorie amount? They aren't clear there and it gives the impression that people are gaining weight by simply eating those foods.

    I think they are clear they aren't matched for calorie amount. "They were instructed to eat as much food as they liked in 60-minute meal windows." The matching was because they did things like add fiber supplement to lemonade in the ultraprocessed option.

    The Kevin hall study was.. carbs, fat, protein and fiber. They were all equated..

    There are multiple Kevin Hall studies. This one was not matched for calories since you could eat as much as you liked.

    The meals were all equated... thus showing the overconsumption of the Hyperpalitable..

    Yes, and as explained in your link:

    "Meals were designed to be matched for presented calories, energy density, macronutrients, sugar, sodium, and fiber. Subjects were instructed to consume as much or as little as desired. Energy intake was greater during the ultra-processed diet (508±106 kcal/d; p=0.0001), with increased consumption of carbohydrate (280±54 kcal/d; p<0.0001) and fat (230±53 kcal/d; p=0.0004) but not protein (-2±12 kcal/d; p=0.85). Weight changes were highly correlated with energy intake (r=0.8, p<0.0001) with participants gaining 0.8±0.3 kg (p=0.01) during the ultra-processed diet and losing 1.1±0.3 kg (p=0.001) during the unprocessed diet."

    (Or, as I said upthread: "This one was not matched for calories since you could eat as much as you liked." I was responding to someone who was wondering whether the difference in weight might be due to something other than calories, since the study said carbs, et al. were equal. But the calories actually consumed were not. It's different from Hall's studies comparing low fat vs low carb which intentionally (and importantly) kept calories consumed equal.)

    So they were unrestricted on how much they ate, and those on the hyperpalatable diet ate more calories. It's a test of strategies to control overeating, basically.

    Fair enough... they should call the study hyperprocessed foods make you eat more of them to feel full than less processed.. Does not quite have the same ring to it! Lol😁
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