Eating pasta is not fattening and actually decreases the chances of becoming obese, a new Italian study has found. For centuries, Mediterranean diets have enjoyed a healthy reputation, but in recent years more and more people have been shunning pasta, believing it to be fattening. A new survey of more than 23,000 people, however, has linked pasta consumption to both lower body mass and waist-to-hip ratio.
Publication of the paper comes amid a fierce debate in the UK between supporters of official dietary advice which advocates eating a wholesome intake of carbohydrates but small amounts of fat and those who argue that fat is not fattening but that carbohydrates should be avoided.
The new Italian study has already been seized by some UK nutritionists as evidence that carbohydrates have been ‘unfairly demonised’. George Pounis, the paper’s lead author, said: “We have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite. Our data shows that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.”