Effect of Current Dietary Recommendations on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors.
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BACKGROUND: Dietary recommendations emphasize increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, and whole grain cereals for prevention of chronic disease. OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the effect of dietary advice and/or food provision on body weight and cardiovascular disease risk factors. METHODS: Healthy overweight men (n = 209) and women (n = 710), mean age 44.7 years, body mass index [BMI] 32.4 kg/m2, were randomized between November 2005 and August 2009 to receive Health Canada's food guide (control, n = 486) or 1 of 3 interventions: dietary advice consistent with both Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and dietary portfolio principles (n = 145); weekly food provision reflecting this advice (n = 148); or food delivery plus advice (n = 140). Interventions lasted 6 months with 12-month follow-up. Semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires and fasting blood, anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were obtained at baseline, 6 months, and 18 months. RESULTS: Participant retention at 6 and 18 months was 91% and 81%, respectively, after food provision compared to 67% and 57% when no food was provided (p < 0.0001). Test and control treatments showed small reductions in body weight (-0.8 to -1.2 kg), waist circumference (-1.1 to -1.9 cm), and mean arterial pressure (0.0 to -1.1 mm Hg) at 6 months and Framingham coronary heart disease risk score at 18 months (-0.19 to -0.42%), which were significant overall. Outcomes did not differ among test and control groups. CONCLUSIONS: Provision of foods increased retention but only modestly increased intake of recommended foods. Current dietary recommendations showed small overall benefits in coronary heart disease risk factors. Additional dietary strategies to maximize these benefits are required. (Fruits, Vegetables, and Whole Grains: A Community-based Intervention; NCT00516620).
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