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Obese People Produce More Fat After Meal
By Merritt McKinney

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (Reuters Health) -- Overweight men respond to a carbohydrate-rich meal differently than lean men, researchers report. When given the same meal, heavier men tend to have higher fat production in their livers, increased rates of certain blood fats and lower oxidation of fats.

If these metabolic responses to simple carbohydrates--like the ones in white bread, pasta and simple sugars--continue over time, they may upset a person's nutritional balance, one of the study's authors, Dr. J. Alfredo Martinez, of the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, told Reuters Health.

The findings may mean that some people become overweight because they are able to store sugars as fats more easily, according to Martinez. However, it is not clear from the study if the difference in fat production is caused by obesity, or obesity leads to changes in fat production.

In the study, six lean and seven overweight men ate a high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal after fasting for nearly 18 hours. Several aspects of the men's metabolism were measured during fasting and after eating, according to the report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The authors note that more research is needed to understand the differences in the way people metabolize nutrients, including potential genetic variations that may account for the differences.

To maintain a healthy body weight, it is important to strike a balance between proteins, carbohydrates and fat, the researchers point out. Since eating carbohydrates reduces the body's need to rely on fat for fuel, the investigators suspected that the way the body processes carbohydrates might have an effect on body weight.