Pasta is a traditional component of Mediterranean diet in Italy.
Its role in the management of body weight is still unclear.
In a study published in Nutrition & Diabetes, researchers find that eating pasta is associated with a smaller risk of overweight and obesity.
Researchers from IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed in Italy conducted the study. They evaluated the association of pasta eating with body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio in two large national research datasets.
A total of 14,402 participants aged more than 35 years were randomly recruited from the general population of the Molise region (Moli-sani cohort), and 8,964 participants aged more than18 years were recruited from all over Italy (Italian Nutrition & HEalth Survey, INHES).
Researchers used The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-food frequency questionnaire and one 24-hour dietary recall to assess participants’ diet.
In addition, they measured the weight, height, waist and hip circumference of each participant.
The result showed that higher pasta intake was associated with better adhesion to Mediterranean diet in both men and women.
In both Moli-sani study and INHES study, higher pasta eating was associated with lower BMI in women and men.
In addition, in the Moli-sani study, pasta eating was significantly associated with lower waist and hip circumference and waist-to-hip ratio.
Researchers conclude that as a traditional component of Mediterranean diet, higher pasta eating is associated with lower BMI, lower waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio and with a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity.