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 5 reasons to love avocados 2018-10-14 07:00 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 Lifestyle Hunting, harvesting leave big animals at risk of extinction Medical Education no match for Alzheimer's Medical Teen’s third fight to survive leukaemia Lifestyle 7 reasons your stomach hurts after sex – and how to make it stop Lifestyle What every type of vaginal odour means for your health – and how to get rid of it asap Medical Could allergies be causing your sinusitis? From our sponsors SPONSORED: Don’t just stop smoking, start something amazing Live healthier Fitness » Diet or exercise – or both? Download the maximum mass workout plan to build big muscles in 28 days How to get the most from your cardio workouts How to pick a fitness tracker that's right for you Like a personal coach, a fitness tracker can motivate you to reach goals and strive for new ones. Monitoring blood pressure » Must blood pressure rise with age? Remote tribes hold clues Weight regained after weight-loss op can tell your doc a lot Gum disease may worsen your blood pressure problems Even a slight rise in blood pressure might shrink young brains A new study found that above normal blood pressure can be associated with lower grey matter volume in a number of areas of the brain.