The press release mentioned that the participants' moderate pasta consumption was part of a Mediterranean diet, which has already been linked to weight loss, thanks to being plentiful in heart-healthy fats, fresh fruits and veggies, and lean protein. People could also probably lose weight eating cookies, if they consumed one tiny cookie along with an otherwise super-clean, 1,300-calorie diet. You see where this is going.
The study also only examined Italians, who happen to eat pasta as part of a deep cultural tradition that's been around for centuries.
Food studies are an in-vogue marketing strategy
Barilla is hardly the first major food company to fund a study that shows its product is healthy. Coca-Cola, for example, came under fire for creating the now-defunct Global Energy Balance Network nonprofit, which released a couple studies promoting the idea that exercise was more important than ditching junk food for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Most people who have lost a significant amount of weight will tell you otherwise.