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The effect of different types of dietary advice on body composition in a group of Scottish men

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Aims: This study aimed to compare the effect of advice to reduce both dietary fat and sugar, with the effect of advice to reduce dietary fat only, on dietary intake, body weight and body composition in normal to moderately overweight Scottish men. Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to a control Group 0 (no advice), Group 1 (advice to reduce fat and sugar) or Group 2 (advice to reduce fat only). Dietary intakes, body weight, BMI, % body fat and waist:hip ratio were measured throughout the 6-month study period. Results: Both groups 1 and 2 significantly decreased percentage energy from fat after 6 months. Group 1 decreased percentage energy from added sugar and non-milk extrinsic sugar (NMES) from baseline to 6 weeks but there was no difference from baseline at 6 months. A small decrease in percentage body fat was observed in Group 1 (0.8%) without weight loss, whereas a larger decrease in percentage body fat was observed in Group 2 (1.4%) with a weight loss of 1.2 kg at 6 months. Conclusion: There may be no advantage in advising individuals to reduce sugar intakes in terms of promoting a `healthy diet' or with respect to maintaining a healthy body weight status.

Keywords: body composition; body weight; dietary fat; dietary sugar; nutritional goals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Food Research, Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK

Publication date: December 1, 1998

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