Eating less meat may be the key to keeping a healthy weight, say researchers.
A European study of almost 400,000 adults found that eating meat was linked with weight gain, even in people taking in the same number of calories. The strongest association was found with processed meat, such as sausages and ham, the Imperial College London team reported.
It suggests that high-protein diets may not help slimmers in the long run. The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also support public health messages advocating cutting down on the amount of meat we eat, the researchers said.
The study looked at data from adults taking part in a large project looking at the link between diet and cancer. Participants from 10 European countries, including the UK, were weighed and measured at the start and then asked to report their weight five years later. They also filled in a detailed food questionnaire.