In class I mention that MSG is used to make lab rats fat for use in nutritional studies. A recent study now confirms that it appears to have the same effect in humans. (Not so surprising, given that animal studies are done because they reflect what happens in humans).
In any event, the MSG study looked at the diets, MSG intake, and body mass index of 10,000+ adults. Over a 5.5 year period, eating MSG was “positively” associated with excessive weight gain in “apparently healthy Chinese adults.” The average intake of MSG was 2.2 grams (give or take 1.6 grams).
I avoid MSG on principle. It is seldom proudly added to the ingredient label. Instead it is usually “hidden” in our foods to make stringy chicken and other poor quality ingredients more palatable, and I am opposed to being tricked into eating foods I otherwise would reject. But avoiding unwanted belly fat is another perfectly good reason to avoid MSG.