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Jul 09, 2016 10:34 AM EDT

Italian Study Refutes Century Old Misconception About Pasta As Cause For Obesity; Instead, It Helps Reduce Body Mass Index, Keep Lean Muscle

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A new Italian study found out that eating pasta does not directly contribute to being obese. As a matter of fact, pasta is associated with a reduction in body mass index (BMI).

The study survey has gauged roughly 23,000 pasta-eating people by the Department of Epidemiology, I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy. The findings lead to facts stating that this fundamental component of Italian's Mediterranean diet is somewhat associated to the reduced probability of abdominal obesity, TIME wrote.

However this study does not signal to load much on the popular carbohydrate-rich pasta diet which is often disregarded is usual diets because of its gluten content. Additionally, people behind the study do not claim that pasta directly take part on the reduction of BMI but only an association in the process was cited. But ongoing studies will prove otherwise.

Notably, the study also shown that Italians only eat lesser portions of pasta as it is basically considered a first course rather than a main course.

The recent worldwide trend in diet bit into the popular high-protein, low-carb food intakes which caused a decline in pasta consumption. This decline effect is also traced in Italy which is considered to be the world's pasta capital, TIME added. From producers and consumers, Italian pasta has engaged in over 3 million tons produced a year and 26 kg per capita consumption industry.

As mentioned, the decline in pasta consumption is not a good sign. The study said that as pasta consumption lowered, there could be a proxy for lower acceptance of the Mediterranean diet leading to loss of the health benefits, mainly in cardiovascular benefits related with it, Quartz added.

George Pounis, first author of the study, said that through analyzing anthropometric data of the surveyed and their eating habits, the team has seen that consumption of pasta is not associated with an upsurge in body mass, rather the opposite. The data also showed that individuals who enjoyed the pasta diet had a healthy body mass index and lower waist circumference including better waist-hip ratio.

The study was, in part, funded by a pasta company called Barilla with the Italian government. It was published online at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed.

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