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Calories – Not Protein – Contribute To Weight Gain, Study Finds

December 29, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study among 25 healthy people who consumed either low, normal or high protein diets found that those on the low-protein diet gained less weight than those on the normal or high protein diets. In fact, researchers said, calories alone, not protein, appeared to contribute to an increase in body fat. Protein contributed to changes in energy expenditure and lean body mass, but not increases in fat. All participants in the study, both men and women, gained weight. But the rate of weight gain in the low protein diet group was significantly less than in the other two groups: 6.97 lbs. vs. 13.3 lbs for the normal protein diet group and 14.4 lbs in the high protein diet group.
George A. Bray, M.D. et al., "Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition During Overeating", Journal of the American Medical Association, December 29, 2011
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