Collections > UNC Scholarly Publications > Article > Dietary fat intake does affect obesity

There is a difference of opinion about whether the percentage of dietary fat plays an important role in the rising prevalence of overweight and in its treatment once it has developed. We believe that ample research from animal and clinical studies, from controlled trials, and from epidemiologic and ecologic analyses provides strong evidence that dietary fat plays a role in the development and treatment of obesity. A reduction in fat intake reduces the gap between total energy intake and total energy expenditure and thus is an effective strategy for reducing the present epidemic of obesity worldwide. A review of the results from 28 clinical trials that studied the effects of a reduction in the amount of energy from fat in the diet showed that a reduction of 10% in the proportion of energy from fat was associated with a reduction in weight of 16 g/d. We thus conclude that dietary fat plays a role in the development of obesity. To reduce the prevalence of obesity, there must be an increase in energy expenditure, a reduction in total energy intake, or both. This goal can be facilitated by reducing the amount of fat in the diet.