Objective: This study aimed to compare two energy-restricted, nutrient-dense diets at the upper or lower ends of the dietary fat recommendation range (lower fat [20% energy from fat] versus moderate fat [35%]) on weight loss using behavioral theory–based nutrition education. Methods: A total of 101 premenopausal women with overweight or obesity were randomized to an energy-restricted lower-fat or moderate-fat diet for 1 year. Interventions included 28 behavioral theory–based nutrition education sessions plus weekly exercise sessions. Results: Both treatment groups experienced weight loss (−5.0 kg for lower fat and −4.3 kg for moderate fat; P < 0.0001), but there was no difference in weight loss or fat intake between groups. Total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased (−3. 4 mg/dL and −3.8 mg/dL; P < 0.05), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased (1.9 mg/dL; P < 0.05) in both groups at 12 months. Diet quality, assessed by the Healthy Eating Index, increased significantly at 4 months versus baseline (70.8 [0.9] vs. 77.8 [1.0]) and was maintained through 12 months. Higher Healthy Eating Index scores were associated with greater weight loss at 4 months (r = −0.2; P < 0.05). Conclusions: In the context of a well-resourced, free-living weight-loss intervention, total fat intake did not change; however, theory-based nutrition education underpinned by food-based recommendations resulted in caloric deficits, improvements in diet quality, and weight loss that was sustained for 1 year.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics