[Response to a weight control program based on approximating the diet to its theoretical ideal].Nutr Hosp. 2005 Nov-Dec; 20(6):393-402.NH
Obesity is a risk factor for a number of degenerative diseases common in industrial societies and the number of overweight/obese people continues to grow. The control of body weight is therefore a priority public health objective.
To analyze the response to a weight loss program based on approximating the diet to the theoretical ideal (by increasing the consumption of recommended foods under-represented in the diet: cereals and vegetables).
The study involved 67 women aged between 20 and 35 years with a body mass index (BMI) of between 24 and 35 kg/m2. These women were randomly assigned to two groups with the aim of improving weight control and of approximating the diet to the theoretical ideal.
Both groups were advised to follow a slightly hypocaloric diet, but with one group increasing the intake of greens and vegetables (H) and the other increasing the intake of cereals (especially breakfast cereals) (C). Dietary data were obtained via the keeping of a daily food record over three days, including a Sunday. Anthropometric data were obtained at the start of the study and again 2 and 6 weeks later.
Both treatments approximated the energy profile of the diets to the theoretical ideal. The amount of energy gained from lipids fell and that gained from carbohydrates increased (both at 2 and 6 weeks), significantly more so for group C. Fifty seven women completed the study and showed a mean reduction in body weight of 2.4 +/-1.4 kg. The weight lost by group C was significantly greater than that lost by group H (2.8 +/- 1.4 kg compared to 2.0 +/- 1.3 kg; p < 0.05). The women who followed diet C showed a greater number of skin folds of significantly reduced size, both at 2 and 6 weeks. More group C women completed the study (93.5% compared to 77.8% of group H women).
In overweight or slightly obese women, approximating the diet to the theoretical ideal (by increasing the intake of vegetables of cereals) can help to control body weight and improve the quality of the diet (both in terms of the number and size of food rations, and the overall energy profile). The present results show that increasing the consumption of breakfast cereals may be of particular use owing to their high fiber, vitamin and iron contents.