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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
A new U.S. survey found that consumers ranked sugar- and fat-containing foods as most likely to cause weight gain, when in fact high starch consumption is a leading cause.
Consuming too much high-carbohydrate food may be one of the biggest causes of weight gain, but consumers may not realize it. A new U.S. survey found that consumers ranked sugar- and fat-containing foods as most likely to cause weight gain, when in fact high starch consumption is a leading cause.
The survey was conducted on 1200 U.S. consumers and sponsored by Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. (Kearny, NJ), a supplier whose ingredients include Phase 2 Carb Controller, a white kidney bean extract (Phaseolus vulgaris) that inhibits alpha-amylase activity to interfere with digestion of complex carbohydrates to simple sugar.
In addition to being unaware of the contribution of high carb consumption to weight gain, consumers also underestimate their daily intake of carbohydrates, the survey found. Respondents estimated that starches accounted for 23% of their daily dietary intake, but disclosures about what they ate reflected a likely higher overall carb consumption. (Survey respondents indicated that 83% had consumed a starchy food like bread in the last 48 hours, and 65% said they ate crackers, chips, or pretzels as snacks, while nearly 60% ate potato chips.)
“Of everything we eat, highly refined and rapidly digestible starchy carbohydrates produce the most insulin,” said David Foreman, a retired pharmacist, author, and radio host of “The Herbal Pharmacist,” in a Pharmachem press release announcing the survey results. “The insulin puts fat cells into storage overdrive, promoting weight gain.”
If Americans are misjudging the significance of carb over-consumption to weight gain, as well as their own intake of carbs, it could indicate why the number of overweight Americans continues to rise, Pharmachem says. But, the firm adds, consumers surveyed also stated that they want to lose weight. Of the respondents, 40% described themselves as “somewhat” or “substantially” overweight, but 56% said they had also tried a weight-loss program and up to 89% said they regularly take a weight-loss aid.
“We’ve learned from this survey that many consumers are not aware that it’s the carbs that are making them overweight,” said Mitch Skop, senior director, new product development, Pharmachem, in the press release. “Our challenge is to educate consumers about the problem of excessive carb consumption and that there is a proven ingredient, like Phase 2 Carb Controller, to address it.”
The survey was conducted by Customer Experience Partners between January 23, 2016, and February 1, 2016, with a statistical range of +/- 2.8%.
Nutritional Outlook magazine