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Low Fat or Low Calorie Diets Study
Nutritient Food Intake in Obese Women on Low Fat / Low Calorie Diet
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Nutrient and Food Intake in Obese Women on a Low-Fat or Low-Calorie Diet

The low-fat group consumed significantly fewer calories from fat and more calories from carbohydrate at both 6 and 12 months than the low-calorie group, but their fat intake was still about twice their goal at both 6 months (39 gm per day) and 12 months (46 gm per day). The low-calorie group achieved their fat goal of 30 percent of calorie intake, but they consumed from 300 to 700 kcal more than their calorie goal. Caloric intake, physical activity, palatability, satiety, quality of life, and weight loss were not significantly different by treatment. Two studies, which gave patients hypocaloric diets of varying fat and carbohydrate content (fat calories 10 percent to 45 percent) for from 10 to 12 weeks, found no effect of diet composition on weight loss. In addition, one study, which gave patients a low-fat, energy-unrestricted diet (fat calories 19 percent), reported a weight loss of 10.1 lb at 16 to 20 weeks and 5.7 lb at 9 to 12 months, which is similar to that seen in the low-fat group in the this study. Most of the decrease in fat intake (90 percent) in the low-fat group resulted from a reduction in intake of fat from fat and oils; meat, fish, and poultry; dairy products; and sweets. The dietary changes in the low-fat group are consistent with those found in one study, which prescribed a 15 percent fat calorie diet to women with breast cancer. Intake of vitamin C increased in the low-fat group and decreased in the low-calorie group. This difference was significant and was caused by an increased intake of fruits and vegetables in the low-fat group and a decreased consumption of fruits in the low-calorie group. Calcium intake decreased significantly more in the low-calorie group because of a decreased intake of dairy foods.

Source: Shah M, Baxter JE, McGovern PG, Garg A. School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, USA.

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