Home > Diet and nutrition > News Updated 14 May 2013 Eating insects may help fight obesity Munching on some nutritious insects could help fight obesity, claim researchers. 3 Shutterstock Related Insect bites and stings Insects plentiful in hot parts of cities Cockroaches may inspire robotics Vit & Min doses per day » Count calories in food » Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Ask The Dietitians » 10 foods to boost your immune system Your quick guide to Banting The thought of eating beetles, caterpillars and ants may give you the creeps, but the authors of a UN report said the health benefits of consuming nutritious insects could help fight obesity.More than 1 900 species of insects are eaten around the world, mainly in Africa and Asia, but people in the West generally turn their noses up at the likes of grasshoppers, termites and other crunchy fare.The authors of the study by the Forestry Department, part of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said many insects contained the same amount of protein and minerals as meat and more of the healthy fats doctors recommend in balanced diets."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. Insects on the menu in many countriesEva Muller of the FAO said restaurants in Europe were starting to offer insect-based dishes, presenting them to diners as exotic delicacies.Danish restaurant Noma, for example, crowned the world's best for three years running in one poll, is renowned for ingredients including ants and fermented grasshoppers.As well as helping in the costly battle against obesity, which the World Health Organization estimates has nearly doubled since 1980 and affects around 500 million people, the report said insect farming was likely to be less land-dependent than traditional livestock and produce fewer greenhouse gases.It would also provide business and export opportunities for poor people in developing countries, especially women, who are often responsible for collecting insects in rural communities.Van Huis said barriers to enjoying dishes such as bee larvae yoghurt were psychological - in a blind test carried out by his team, nine out of 10 people preferred meatballs made from roughly half meat and half mealworms to those made from meat.(Picture: person eating an insect from Shutterstock) NEXT ON HEALTH24X How fat can alcohol really make you? 2017-10-19 07:31 More: Diet and nutritionNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 3 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Mental health Quick survey: Would you tell your boss about your mental illness? Medical 5 ways to protect yourself against fungal infections this summer News SEE: 7 gripping facts on surgery Fitness Are women naturally fitter than men? Medical Shhhh! Patients are sleeping Lifestyle #MeToo in SA: This is what victims feel like From our sponsors Discover treatments that can help reduce acne What can I do to reduce or remove acne marks? Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal online store voucher! Live healthier Watch out! » Gross fungal infections you can pick up at the gym You go to gym to exercise. But make sure the only thing you pick up is a dumbbell and not one of these gross fungal infections. Holiday health » Your 10-step asthma holiday checklist Don’t let asthma ruin your summer holiday. Whether you are travelling or embracing the summer at home, make sure you plan ahead.