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Avoiding Ultra-Processed Foods May Be Key to Fighting Obesity

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted by the NIH Clinical Center provides evidence for the impact of ultra-processed foods on energy intake and weight gain. The researchers randomly assigned subjects to either an ultra-processed or unprocessed diet and ensured that the diets were matched for presented calories, energy density, macronutrients, sugar, sodium, and fiber.

The study demonstrated a causal relationship between ultra-processed food consumption and weight gain. This high level of evidence strengthens the argument for limiting the consumption of ultra-processed foods as a strategy for obesity prevention and treatment in modern days.

Hall, K.D., et al., Ultra-Processed Diets Cause Excess Calorie Intake and Weight Gain: An Inpatient Randomized Controlled Trial of Ad Libitum Food Intake. Cell Metabolism, 2019. 30(1): p. 67-77.e3.

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