People who blame pasta for weight gain have missed the message about the Mediterranean diet, according to Italian researchers. The team from IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Italy crunched the numbers from earlier studies involving more than 20,000 Italians and discovered that pasta intake was associated both with lower obesity rates and healthier waist-to-hip ratios. "We have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight," researcher George Pounis says in a press release. The team's research was published this week in the Nature journal Nutrition & Diabetes.
The researchers say their findings show that people trying to lose weight are wrong to completely banish pasta from their diets, reports UPI, which notes that pasta sometimes gets the blame for weight gain when it's used as a "vehicle for overly salty, sugary, fatty sauces." A nutrition professor at the University of Reading tells the Telegraph that the results appear solid, with pasta intake in this case demonstrating adherence to the Mediterranean diet. "These results clearly show that it is wrong to demonize carbohydrates as the data clearly show that consumption of a carbohydrate-rich food such as pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight," he says. (Physicists have invented a new pasta shape.)