MSG and Obesity
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Research suggests that monosodium glutamate causes obesity, making unhealthy snacks even unhealthier than we may have suspected. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study that links MSG to obesity in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

People who use monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as a flavor enhancer in their food are more likely to be overweight or obese even though they have the same amount of physical activity and total calorie intake as people who donít use it.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina and in China studied more than 750 Chinese men and women, ages 40 to 59. The majority of study participants prepared their meals at home without commercially processed foods.

About 82 percent of the participants used MSG in their food. Those users were divided into three groups, based on the amount of MSG they used. The third who used the most MSG were nearly three times more likely to be overweight than non-users.

Because MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in many processed foods, studying its potential effect on humans has been difficult. Animal studies have indicated for years that MSG might be associated with weight gain. This study is the first to show a link between MSG use and weight in humans.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.