Making waves in health news is an epidemiological study conducted in Italy involving 23,000 Italian people. Over the past couple of weeks, many articles have popped up online making reference to this study,  which had been published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes. The organization conducting this research, Department of Epidemiology I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Pozzilli Italy, has found that pasta consumption is associated with a reduced chance of general and abdominal obesity.

Many people have the perspective that pasta is bad or fattening. So it is always interesting when something comes out which “goes against the grain”. A major consequence of these findings is perhaps a justification of the Mediterranean diet, that is the angle that many news stories have taken over the past several weeks.

"…Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in the first place), is good for your health."

The organization mentioned above is basing this off of two epidemiological studies, Moli-sani and INHES. Anthropometric data and eating habits are what were primarily analyzed in the studies. Leading author of the study, George Pounis, concludes “Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals' needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference, and better waist-hip ratio.”

Authors at Science Daily mention an important point; Mediterranean diets are well known for health benefits, and this study perhaps aims to elucidate the role of pasta, which has not been known. Licia Iacoviello, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology at Neuromed Institute, speaks about the importance of their findings.  Licia discusses that regarding pasta as bad and eliminating it from the diet is incorrect. You can read more by clicking the link below to read the full story. It is also worth remembering that this study only identifies associations. The study does not delve into cause and effect, nor does it prove anything. There are countless factors at play, and this study does not give us information regarding scientific reasoning or a physiological basis for things. In the grand scheme of things, this study is valuable to be aware of.  Nevertheless, taking into consideration the ingredients in pasta, perhaps the results of the study are not difficult to predict.   Licia writes.

Source: sciencedaily: Pasta is not fattening -- quite the opposite, Italian study finds