|Author: ||B. Carlton Tohill|
|Keywords: ||energy density, energy intake, obesity, weight management, fruit, vegetables|
Background: Given the recent surge in obesity, effective dietary strategies for weight management are required.
Because fruits and vegetables are high in water and fiber, incorporating them in the diet can reduce its energy density, promote satiety, and decrease energy intake.
Methods: Peer-reviewed journal articles published between January 1966 and July 2003 that included an investigation of fruit and vegetable intake and body weight and that reported a test for significance, are included.
Results: Both of the intervention studies that provided a diet high in fruit and vegetables resulted in weight loss among men and women.
Among the studies that gave dietary advice to increase fruit and vegetables with no weight loss component, four reported no weight loss and one study reported weight gain, but when this same advice was given along with the advice to decrease fat intake there were six studies that reported weight loss and only one with no significant weight loss.
There were 4 studies that advised participants to increase fruits and vegetables as a weight loss strategy and all of those reported significant weight loss.
Few epidemiological studies have been designed to specifically address this issue and those that have vary in methodology with inconsistent results.
Conclusion: Although few interventions as well as epidemiological studies have specifically addressed fruit and vegetable consumption, the evidence suggests that coupling advice to increase intake of these foods with advice to decrease energy intake is a particularly effective strategy for weight management.
This approach may facilitate weight loss because it emphasizes positive messages promoting the consumption of water- and fiber-rich foods rather than negative, restrictive messages.
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