Fried grasshopper

Many approaches have been employed in curbing the cases of obesity, which continue to skyrocket. But how about eating bugs? According to a UN report, it may be the next best weapon against obesity.

Sure, the thought of eating insects is enough to make anyone lose weight, but it’s actually a very common practice throughout many Asian and African nations. According to the UN, nearly 2,000 species of bugs are regularly eaten by humans.

The UN’s Forestry Department, which is part of the organization’s Food and Agriculture Organization, looked at the nutritional breakdown of insects such as grasshoppers and termites, and found that while many insects fared the same in protein and minerals as meat, the bugs provided healthier fat than animal products. The presence of healthy, less saturated fats in insects are important to a healthy diet, whereas fats in meat (and some dairy) products, are believed to be a major contributing factor to obesity and obesity-related illnesses, including heart disease and high cholesterol.

“In the West we have a cultural bias, and think that because insects come from developing countries, they cannot be good,” said scientist Arnold van Huis from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, one of the authors of the report.

But the trend is catching on. Reuters reports that restaurants throughout Europe—a region known for its fine dining—are beginning to present insect-based dishes on menus as exotic delicacies.

According to the World Health Organization, obesity rates have doubled since 1980, affecting half a billion people world wide.

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