A simple dietary message to improve dietary quality: Results from a pilot investigation

University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, USA.
Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.93). 07/2009; 25(7-8). DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.01.009
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: The present study compared the feasibility of two simple messages (a high-fiber diet or a low saturated fat diet) to a combination message (high fiber/low saturated fat) on their potential to affect dietary quality and metabolic health. METHODS: Thirty-six subjects were randomized to one of three intervention conditions and received individual dietary counseling sessions. Study assessments occurred at baseline, 3 mo, and 6 mo. RESULTS: The sample was 84% female and 94% Caucasian. Mean body mass index was 31kg/m(2). At the 6-mo assessment phase, we retained all 12 patients in the high-fiber diet condition, 10 of 12 in the low saturated fat condition, and 9 of 12 in the combination condition. Participants reported that the dietary fiber intervention was easier to maintain compared with the other two intervention conditions (83% for high dietary fiber versus 60% for low saturated fat versus 33% for the combination, P=0.008). Overall dietary quality improved in all three conditions during the study (P=0.01). In addition to increasing fiber, the high-fiber condition decreased their saturated fat intake, even though a reduction in saturated fat was not a part of that intervention condition. Participants in all three conditions lost an average of 9 lb from baseline weight (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: A simple dietary message is feasible and can improve overall dietary quality. Results support the need for a larger randomized controlled trial that is powered to detect the efficacy of a simplified dietary recommendation for dietary quality and metabolic health.

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    • "Our preliminary work reveals that increases in fiber may be associated with changes in other aspects of diet (e.g., reducing saturated fat intake), thereby affecting dietary quality even beyond the simple increase in fiber intake. We concluded from our pilot study that it may not be necessary to give instruction on several areas of the diet because correct simple changes might beneficially influence other areas of diet [39]. Simplifying diet changes, increasing fiber intake appears to have excellent effects on weight and factors of the metabolic syndrome. "
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