Weight loss on an energy-restricted, low-fat, sugar-containing diet in overweight sedentary men.Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2004 Jun; 55(4):279-90.IJ
With the increasing prevalence of obesity in the United Kingdom, the search for an effective weight reducing diet is a priority in helping to reverse this trend. A 12-week dietary intervention study was carried out to test the effectiveness of an energy-restricted, low-fat, sugar-containing diet on weight loss in sedentary overweight men. The study also aimed to assess eating behaviour, to measure change in attitude towards sugar-containing foods and to measure the impact of the study on perceived quality of life. Subjects were recruited from three UK cities; Edinburgh, Birmingham and London. Seventy-six men, aged between 25 and 60 years, completed the study. Baseline diets were assessed by a 7-day diet diary. Compliance to the subsequent dietary advice was measured on four occasions post intervention, by 4-day diaries. Measures of body weight status were also monitored. Eating behaviour, attitudes towards sugar-containing foods and quality of life were assessed by questionnaire. Significant reductions in body weight (5.2%), body fat (11.2%) and waist:hip ratio (3%) were observed following reported dietary changes that included a reduction in reported energy intake of 3.2 MJ/day (770 kcal/day), a reduction in the percent energy from fat (from 38.1% to 26.2%), an increase in the percent energy from total carbohydrate (from 44.4% to 54%) and from protein (from 17.3% to 20.6%). Subjects scored relatively highly for dietary restraint and emotional eating, and were strongly influenced by external eating cues. On completion of the 12-week study, subjects had a more positive attitude towards sugar-containing foods and perceived an improved quality of life. It is concluded, therefore, that including sugar-containing foods in a weight-reducing diet may be an effective strategy to achieve a palatable, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, which promotes weight loss in overweight individuals.