Carbs and protein for weight control

Carbs and protein for weight control

Balancing protein and carbohydrate in our diet for weight control will be discussed tomorrow (Friday, May 24) when a global leader in nutrition and research gives a key lecture at the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Arne Astrup - whose research includes studying the causes and treatment of obesity - is delivering the annual Science for Life lecture, being hosted by the University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

His talk Best diet for weight control: focus on protein/carbohydrate ratio will give an insight into a large pan-European study he ran where families with at least one obese adult were recruited onto a six-month weight-loss programme.

Participants were put on five different diets which included combining different levels of protein with food containing carbohydrates absorbed at different rates by the body – these ‘carb’ foods are measured by what is known as the GI index.

The Diet, Obesity and Genes or DiOGenes study showed that those on the high GI and low protein diets gained the most weight while those on high protein and low GI diets lost weight and didn’t put it back on. Among the children involved – approximately 800 – the high protein/low GI diet resulted in a significant drop in weight and obesity as well as reductions in waist circumference and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Professor Astrup, head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, said: “We were actually surprised to see that among the overweight children in the DiOGenes families allocated to the higher-protein, low-GI diet the prevalence of overweight and obesity fell spontaneously by more than 12 % over 6 months without having any restrictions in TV viewing and activity, or calorie counting – they simply had meals with a different composition that gave them so much satiety that they could not overeat.

Professor Astrupr’s talk is the latest Scottish Research Institute Science for Life lecture which brings a high profile scientist to Scotland each year to speak on a key topical issue relating to science in society.

The lectures are hosted in turn by the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Moredun Research Institute, James Hutton Institute and SRUC, in partnership with the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Astrup has a string of accolades which include the Servier's Award for Outstanding Obesity Research 1990.

His talk takes place between 2pm and 3pm at the University's Suttie Centre and is open to all staff and students. To book a place email