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Obesity study: Western diet changes the intestinal environment, causes weight gain

Mice gained weight in study

A high-fat, high-sugar diet changes a person's gut bacteria in a way that causes obesity, according to a new obesity study.

The article in the journal Science Translational Medicine shows that mice fed a "Western" diet (mostly meat, fat, refined grains, and sugar) experienced intestinal-bacteria changes that caused them to gain weight. The intestinal changes took place within 24 hours of consuming the rich food.

The Western diet  is also associated with higher rates of death from colon cancer, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A "prudent" diet (mostly fruits and vegetables, poultry, and fish) is commonly suggested by medical professionals and researchers as a healthier allternative to the Western diet.

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