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Information>Nutrition Newsroom
Dietary energy density in the treatment of obesity: a year-long trial comparing 2 weight-loss diets

 

ABSTRACT

Background: Consuming foods low in energy density (kcal/g) decreases energy intake over several days, but the effectiveness of this strategy for weight loss has not been tested.  

Objective: The effects on weight loss of 2 strategies for reducing the energy density of the diet were compared over 1 y.  

 Design: Obese women (n _ 97) were randomly assigned to groups counseled either to reduce their fat intake (RF group) or to reduce their fat intake and increase their intake of water-rich foods, particularly fruit and vegetables (RF_FV group). No goals for energy or fat intake were assigned; the subjects were instructed to eat ad libitum amounts of food while following the principles of their diet.  

 Results: After 1 y, study completers (n _ 71) in both groups had significant decreases in body weight (P _ 0.0001). Subjects in the RF_FV group, however, had a significantly different pattern of weight loss (P_0.002) than did subjects in the RF group. After 1 y, the RF_FV group lost 7.9 _ 0.9 kg and the RF group lost 6.4 _ 0.9 kg. Analysis of all randomly assigned subjects also showed a different pattern of weight loss between groups (P _ 0.021). Dietrecords indicated that both groups had similar reductions in fat intake. The RF_FV group, however, had a lower dietary energy density than did the RF group (P _ 0.019) as the result of consuming a greater weight of food (P _ 0.025), especially fruit and vegetables (P _ 0.037). The RF_FV group also reported less hunger (P _ 0.003). 

Conclusion: Reducing dietary energy density, particularly by combining increased fruit and vegetable intakes with decreased fat intake, is an effective strategy for managing body weight while controlling hunger.

 Reference:Julia A Ello-Martin, Liane S Roe, Jenny H Ledikwe, Amanda M Beach, and Barbara J Rolls Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1465–77.

 

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