A new study by Aberdeen researchers has found that fat consumption is the only cause of weight gain.
Scientists from the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have undertaken the largest study of its kind looking at what components of diet – fat, carbohydrates or protein – caused mice to gain weight.
The mice were fed 30 different diets that vary in their fat, carbohydrate (sugar) and protein contents for three months, which is equivalent to nine years in humans.
Professor John Speakman, who led the study, said: “The result of this enormous study was unequivocal – the only thing that made the mice get fat was eating more fat in their diets.
“Combining sugar with fat had no more impact than fat alone.
“There was no evidence that low protein (down to 5%) stimulated greater intake, suggesting there is no protein target.
“These effects of dietary fat seemed to be because uniquely fat in the diet stimulated the reward centres in the brain, stimulating greater intake.”