More calories consumed in the pursuit of protein

A study of 38 trials measuring the unrestricted energy intake of people on different diets found total energy intake increases as the percentage of protein in diets decreases, regardless of weight, age or the time frame of a diet.

The findings could provide a new tool in the fight against overweight and obesity, which currently affects more than 60% of adults and one in four children in Australia.

Lead author Dr Alison Gosby, of University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, said that as diets shift towards an increased proportion of foods that are higher in carbohydrate or fat, available protein is reduced and energy intake necessarily increases. 

“Your appetite for protein is so strong that you will keep eating until you get enough protein, which could mean you’re eating much more than you should,” she said.

“For example, when you consume things like soft drinks, which are fairly low in proportion of

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