Does chicken make you fat?

Not a question I hear very often, but I do often wonder where it comes from that chicken is a healthier option.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, about 100 years ago a single serving of chicken contained enough fat to provide 16 calories. Now you get around 200 calories in a serving!

The fat content of chicken has absolutely BALLOONED from less than 2gm in a serving 100 years ago to a whopping 23gm today. That’s 10 times more fat in a modern genetically manipulated farmed chicken compared with chickens a century ago.

The average chicken today provides 2-3 more calories from fat than they do from protein, because chickens have been turned into proper little fatties with modern intensive farming methods. This has lead authors of a study to ask “Does eating obesity cause obesity in the consumer?” (1)

What effect will this be having on people eating these obese birds?

A study carried out in 2010 (2) that found that eating meat generally was associated with weight gain, even independent of calories. (This basically meant all calories are not equal and you’re likely to be heavier eating meat than if you weren’t eating meat).

But they also found poultry as the most fattening meat of them all!

This is confirmed in another study (3) that showed people eating as much as the equivalent weight of 2 chicken nuggets a day had significantly greater BMIs over the 14 year time period they were studied, compared with those who eat no chicken at all.

Are you surprised?

Given the urban myth that white meat and poultry are healthier options I’m sure you are.

Does chicken make you fat? The research makes it look that way.

What do you think about this? Feel free to share by popping a comment in the box below.

Have a great week.

Dr Julie

PS Another surprising fact about chicken is the bad effect if has on your blood pressure – read about it here.

 

  1. Wang Y, Lehane C, Ghebremeskel K, et al. Modern organic and broiler chickens sold for human consumption provide more energy from fat than protein. Public Health Nutr. 2010
  2. Gilsing AM, Weijenberg MP Hughes LA, et al. Longitudinal changes in BMI in older adults are associated with meat consumption differentially, by type of meat consumed. J Nutr 2012
  3. Vergnaud AC, Norat T, Romaguera D, et al. Meat consumption and prospective weight change in participants. Am J Clin Nutr 2010