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Deep Dive: Does eating less fat make us less fat?

How much does dietary fat intake impact bodyweight in people not actively trying to lose weight? Here, we cover a recent meta-analysis that explored this question.

Study under review: Effects of total fat intake on body fatness in adults

Introduction

Obesity represents a worldwide public[1] health issue and its prevalence continues to increase. This has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to indicate that any effect of total fat intake on bodyweight would be important in the development of global recommendations on total fat intake. As such, the WHO requested the WHO Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) to evaluate the relationship between total fat intake and bodyweight in order to update the relevant guidelines. To update the guidelines in an evidence-based way, a systematic review that included all available evidence of longer-term effects of fat intake on body fatness (excluding evidence associated with intention to lose weight) was required.

This led to the study under review, which assessed the relationship between total fat intake and indicators of body fatness, including bodyweight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and percent body fat using all appropriate RCTs with a duration of at least six months.

What was studied?

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What were the findings?

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The bigger picture

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Frequently asked questions

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What should I know?

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Other Articles in Issue #71 (September 2020)