Relationship between bread and obesity

Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr:113 Suppl 2:S29-35. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514003249.


Some studies have indicated that promoting the Mediterranean diet pattern as a model of healthy eating may help to prevent weight gain and the development of overweight/obesity. Bread consumption, which has been part of the traditional Mediterranean diet, has continued to decline in Spain and in the rest of the world, because the opinion of the general public is that bread fattens. The present study was conducted to assess whether or not eating patterns that include bread are associated with obesity and excess abdominal adiposity, both in the population at large or in subjects undergoing obesity management. The results of the present review indicate that reducing white bread, but not whole-grain bread, consumption within a Mediterranean-style food pattern setting is associated with lower gains in weight and abdominal fat. It appears that the different composition between whole-grain bread and white bread varies in its effect on body weight and abdominal fat. However, the term 'whole-grain bread' needs to be defined for use in epidemiological studies. Finally, additional studies employing traditional ways of bread production should analyse this effect on body-weight and metabolic regulation.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Mediterranean diet; Obesity; Refined bread; Whole-grain bread.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / pathology
  • Adiposity
  • Animals
  • Bread / adverse effects*
  • Bread / analysis
  • Bread / standards
  • Diet, Mediterranean* / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / therapeutic use*
  • Energy Intake
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Food Handling*
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Intestines / growth & development
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / microbiology
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / etiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / microbiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / pathology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / prevention & control
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Weight Gain