Just two or more servings of white bread could put you on the road to gaining weight and puts you at a 40 percent higher risk of obesity, according to new research focused on the eating habits of university graduates.

A research team monitored the eating and weight fluctuations of 9,200 Spanish graduates over a five-year time span in which participants ate both whole grain and white breads. Those who ate both showed no increased risk while those who only ate white bread and had two or more portions daily were 40 percent more likely to become obese and overweight.

The research showed no definitive link of just eating whole grain bread and potential obesity, and that may be due to the fiber of whole grain bread, states researcher Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, a professor at the University of Navarra in Spain, and colleagues.

"Consumption of white bread [of] two portions per day or more showed a significant direct association with the risk of becoming overweight or obese," states the researchers.

The news comes amidst a steady stream of research that reveals alarming rates of obesity across the world. The world is getting fatter, states the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, published in The Lancet. Even as other parts of the world compete with the United States on obesity levels, the overall numbers show 10 countries make up more than half of the world's obese population.

The white bread report researchers say the finding shows an association between a diet of white bread and a diet of mixed bread intake.

"Essentially it is equivalent to a high consumption of sugar," Martinez-Gonzalez said. "The problem is similar to what we see with soft drinks, their sugars are rapidly transformed into fat an organism."

Martinez-Gonzalez recommends switching to whole grain, especially for those trying to lose weight. A recent Cornell University also noted that a diet high in white bread could potentially lead to heart issues.

Another recent research report, as noted by Tech Times two weeks ago, states that the growing obesity issue in the U.S. is tied to too much available food and the affordability factor of different kinds of food. The study, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians reveals one reason for rising obesity rates is easy access to unhealthy fast food, shortage of access to healthy foods, prepared meal sizes and suburban sprawl.

"The high cost of healthy food may not be the problem as far as obesity is concerned, rather it is the excess availability and affordability of all types of food," Roland Sturm, PhD, study report's lead author, said in a statement.

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