Modifying dietary energy density may be key to weight loss
medwireNews: Research suggests that what people trying to lose weight choose to eat may be at least as important as what they avoid.
The secondary analysis of a randomized dietary intervention trial shows that the most successful weight loss was associated with increased intake of low-energy-dense foods. In the absence of this, cutting down on high-energy-dense foods had only a small effect, report Maya Vadiveloo (University of Rhode Island, Kingston, USA) and study co-authors in the International Journal of Obesity.
Among the 183 trial participants, those who ate at least 6.6 servings/day of low-energy-dense foods in combination with no more than two servings of high-energy-dense foods achieved an average BMI reduction of 5.0 kg/m2 after 18 months, after accounting for variables including age, sex, and education.
By contrast, those who had a low intake of high-energy-dense foods but did not increase their intake of low-energy-dense foods had an average BMI reduction of 2.4 kg/m2. Those with continued high intake of high-energy-dense foods achieved around a 3.5 kg/m2 BMI reduction, regardless of their low-energy-dense food consumption.
The researchers say their findings probably reflect the ability of low-energy-dense foods to regulate appetite, as well as improved dietary quality, “which has been shown to favorably influence the gut microbiome, and improve outcomes associated with obesity and other chronic diseases.”
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