Just three slices of white bread a day raise the odds of becoming overweight or obese by almost half, a large-scale study found.
Wholegrain bread, however, doesn’t lead to weight gain, the European Congress on Obesity, in Sofia, Bulgaria heard.
The researchers, from the University of Navarra in Spain, tracked the weight of almost 10,000 people for five years.
They found that those who ate 120g or more of white bread a day were 40 per cent more likely to pile on the pounds than those who ate 60g a week or less.
As one slice of bread roughly weighs 40g, just three pieces could put someone in the danger zone
The weight gain seen couldn’t be explained by the white bread lovers having a less healthy diet in general.
Instead, it is thought that lack of satiety-inducing fibre and the high sugar content in it takes its toll on the waistline.
Professor Jason Halford, chairman of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity, said: ‘I would say white bread is a concern because it is generally lower in useful nutrients such as fibre and it can contain added sugar and sometimes contains higher levels of salt.’