Health News

Bethesda: Why ready meals are fattening

  • Overweight and ready-to-eat – a connection is on Hand
  • Experiment with 20 subjects shows that anyone Who relies on ready-made meals, to take more
  • Researchers explain possible reasons

Frozen Pizza, packaged bread or chocolate. Highly processed foods have become in the past years, also in Germany more and more popular, now, they make up almost half of the food that you eat.

At the same time, the number of Overweight increases every second adult is in this country than it is to thick. A recent study suggests a connection between these two Trends. So U.S. researchers found that ready-made meals, Chips and co. to convince people to eat more and thus gain weight.

More salt, sugar and fat

Longer processed foods are strongly suspected to be harmful to health: A study of 2018 brought some of them with an increased cancer risk of dying from recently reported, researchers are even of a higher risk, at an early stage. Nevertheless, it is gladly resorted to such foods, including ready meals, Chips, sausages, processed meat, but also milk and fruit drinks: they are practical and taste to many people. They often contain more calories, salt and sugar as well as fat.

That changed Essvorlieben could have something to do with the rising number of Overweight, seems to lie on the Hand. US researchers Kevin Hall from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases wanted to check it out now. As they report in the journal “Cell Metabolism”, were selected 20 healthy Volunteers, who lived for a month in the laboratory.

Two groups, two dining plans

There they were divided into two groups: one group was every day, three meals plus Snacks, which consisted of highly-processed foods. For Breakfast there was, among other things, a Serving of honey-nut-cereal products and a Ready-blueberry muffin.

The other group received the same number of meals, however, with unprocessed foods. The Breakfast consisted approximately of yogurt with fruit and nuts. Both groups were offered each day, the same amounts of calories as well as carbohydrates, fats, sugar and salt, and after two weeks was exchanged. Over the whole period, the subjects could eat as much food as they wanted.

Ready meals let test persons increase

The result: After two weeks with highly processed foods, the participants on average took nearly a kilogram, in the case of the non-processed foods declined in the same measure. Similarly, the percentage of body fat.

The subjects were in the high-processed food with an average of 508 pounds of calories per day. “You actually ate this food way more calories, which led to an increase in weight and body fat,” said study Director Kevin Hall. The taste was no reason to do so: Both diets tasted the participants equally well.

Why a group increases

The scientists have different hypotheses as to the causes. The participants ate the highly processed food faster. “If you eat very quickly, to his gastro-intestinal tract may not have enough time to signal the brain that it is full,” explains Hall. “In this case, you could easily eat too much.”

Marc Tittgemeyer from the Cologne Max-Planck-Institute for metabolism research, adds: “man measures the calorie content of a food, first of all, through sensory perception. This means: taste, smell and appearance to give us a first impression about the calorie content of our food.“ In the case of finished products there is here a discrepancy, “because there is more calories in food than we attach to it”, so Tittgemeyer in an independent classification of the study. In addition, this food let, as a rule, better take it and be very tasty, so that the reward system of the body is the regulation of the on demand overwrite.

Another possible cause, the author called the team: the highly processed diet drinks with added substances, such as certain juices and sodas sat on the Plan. Liquids could lead to a feeling of satiety, so that the participants were overall more calories.

Weaknesses of the study

For Stefan Kabisch by the German Institute for nutrition research, the study has weaknesses in all the care in the study design, however: “Due to the small number of subjects were also of normal weight and healthy, many typical long-term consequences of an unhealthy diet, such as insulin resistance, fatty liver and the like, to depict statistically or methodologically.” For more reliable statements, it would need several Hundred participants. For Tittgemeyer, the study suggests only a correlation, rather than statements about causal relationships allow.

Money is also sometimes a factor when eating

A further limitation of the study point to the authors themselves: Since the entire meal was prepared for the participants, has not been taken into account according to Hall, how convenient it was to prepare or how much it cost. Fresh foods are often more expensive, so that socio-economic factors should be taken into account in recommendations or regulations.

Also Kabisch stresses that the finished food is often the price to be cheaper: “The market is not the rules alone, political measures are necessary,” said the doctor. “The taxation of sugar, fat, salt, et cetera can make a contribution, but also runs the risk of healthy food – vegetable oil, fruit and the like – to brand.” He recommends a comprehensive health education to promote healthy eating. “The epidemic of obesity and Diabetes can be explained, in part, by energy-rich finished foods, but also by lack of exercise, comorbidities, and social factors.”