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The potential role of peanuts in the prevention of obesity

Jennette Higgs (Consultant Nutritionist and Media Specialist for the American Peanut Council; Freelance Public Health Nutritionist and Sports Dietitian, Food To Fit, Northamptonshire, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




To provide an overview of recent research that collectively demonstrates the potential for peanuts as an aid to weight management.


Research on nuts and their effects on health has been plentiful in recent years. This short literature review focuses principally on that research relevant to peanuts.


Epidemiological and intervention studies have provided useful information on the beneficial effects of nuts, including peanuts in relation to weight management and obesity. This has served to overturn the perception that peanuts, due to their fat content, should not be included in weight loss diets. Furthermore, that, for effective weight management, a moderate fat diet, that includes peanuts, may be more effective for both cardiovascular health and weight management.

Research limitations/implications

More definitive research to directly assess the effects of peanuts on energy balance and body weight is recommended to ascertain optimal quantities of peanuts that can be included in diets for both weight loss and weight maintenance. Plausible explanations for the absence of expected weight gain with regular nut consumption are reported and further research to explore these theories will be reassuring.

Practical implications

Inclusion of daily 1oz(30g) handfuls of peanuts within a moderate fat diet can be recommended as a useful means not only to improve diet quality but also to assist with weight management, due to their satiating effects.


This paper will be useful to health professionals and educators by highlighting how a convenient snack food, peanuts can play a beneficial role within a healthy diet for both cardiovascular protection and weight management.



Higgs, J. (2005), "The potential role of peanuts in the prevention of obesity", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 353-358.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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