In the context of low-glycemic index (GI) dietary patterns, pasta consumption is not associated with weight gain and may actually have beneficial effects on body weight and body mass index (BMI), according to new research.
Researchers arrived at this conclusion following a systematic review and meta-analysis of 32 trials (N = 2448). During their analysis, they compared findings regarding the effects of pasta consumption on measures of global and regional adiposity in adults.
Specifically, the researchers examined the effects of pasta in the context of low-GI dietary patterns on body weight, BMI, body fat, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD).
The generic inverse-variance method was used to pool data and determine mean differences, and the GRADE system was used to assess certainty of evidence.
Results revealed that, among individuals with low-GI dietary patterns, pasta consumption was associated with significantly reduced body weight (mean difference -0.63 kg) and BMI (mean difference 0.26 kg/m2) compared with those with high-GI dietary patterns.
However, no effect of pasta consumption was observed for other adiposity measures, with evidence grades of “moderate” given for body weight, BMI, WHR, and SAD, and a grade of “low” given for waist circumference and body fat.
“Pasta in the context of low-GI dietary patterns does not adversely affect adiposity and even reduces body weight and BMI compared with higher-GI dietary patterns. Future trials should assess the effect of pasta in the context of other ‘healthy’ dietary patterns.
Chiavaroli L, Kendall CWC, Braunstein CR, et al. Effect of pasta in the context of low-glycemic index dietary patterns on body weight and markers of adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in adults. BMJ Open. 2018;8(3). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019438.