The story describes a single small study of 70 women followed for three hours after a meal containing “resistant starch” and whey protein. We aren’t given any numbers, but the story says that women who received resistant starches and whey protein burned more calories than women fed pancakes without that combination, potentially pointing the way toward future nutrition guidelines or at least more studies.
The story was a light meal of information that left readers hungry for numbers. But more concerning was the misleading headline, which was not supported by the story or the study under discussion (see “Quality of Evidence” below).
Obesity is a global public health problem, and research that clarifies the best foods for maintaining a healthy weight would be beneficial to countless people.
The story is dealing with low-cost, widely available foods, so we’ll rate this N/A.
The story does not use quantified benefits. One opportunity where that could have been added is in this section:
“Arciero and his team monitored the women after each meal for three hours and used a device to see how many calories they burned, and what type. To Arciero’s surprise, after women ate pancakes containing resistant starch plus protein, they experienced an increase in fat burning, compared to all of the other kinds of pancakes.”
Adding numbers for the calories burned or the “increase” in fat burning would be beneficial. Minus these numbers, we can’t assess the credibility of the conclusions.
We’re rating this N/A since it’s about food choices. However, it is possible that the belief that a food contains resistant starch could paradoxically lead to that food’s overconsumption.
There are two studies referenced, with a link given, but we are only told about one. This small study was done on 70 women who were followed for three hours after a specific meal.
But more details were needed: Was the increase in calorie burning statistically significant or just a trend? Was it enough to expect to see a meaningful impact upon weight even if generously extrapolated? What are the limitations of this kind of research?
Meanwhile, the headline makes a bold assertion: “Eat this carb and you won’t gain weight.” The study mentioned in the story didn’t reach that conclusion. Meaning, there is no evidence backing up that claim, creating a presumptive and misleading headline.
There was no disease mongering.
There don’t appear to be any conflicts of interest. However, the story does not quote any independent sources, only one of the study authors.
The story mentions different types of carbs and lists a variety of foods that contain resistant starches.
All of these foods are widely available.
The story makes it clear that these types of starches are being studied in a variety of ways.
The story does not appear to rely on a news release.