An imbalance in gut bacteria—known as gut flora or microbiome—can increase the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Research suggests that an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria also promotes weight gain, including abdominal fat. Obese people have a higher number of Firmicutes bacteria in their system, which may increase the amount of calories absorbed from food.
Specific country information can also be accessed via the Countries link on the left-hand navigation bar. The research tools page lists resources that can be used in research. These include statistical databases and the library database. WHO does not have a scholarship or grant programme as such, however certain special WHO programmes and departments do fund research. Visit the grant opportunities page in the TDR web site or the capacity strengthening page in the RHR web site.
For most people, a well-balanced diet is one that is low in fat, sugar and salt, and high in fibre. Your diet should also contain enough protein and a wide range of vitamins and minerals5.
Also, you may wish to consult the web site of the WHO Regional Office where your country is a Member State. The regional offices have some fellowship and scholarship programmes which are carried out in cooperation with the ministries of health in countries.
Changing a subject’s dietary intake, or “going on a diet”, can change the energy balance and increase or decrease the amount of fat stored by the body. The terms “healthy diet” and “diet for weight management” are often related, as the two promote healthy weight management. Conversely, if a person is underweight due to illness or malnutrition, they may change their diet to promote weight gain. Intentional changes in weight, though often beneficial, can be potentially harmful to the body if they occur too rapidly.