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J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 May;105(5 Suppl 1):S98-103.

Changing the energy density of the diet as a strategy for weight management.

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  • 1The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


A growing body of laboratory-based, clinical, and epidemiological data suggests that low-energy-dense diets are associated with better diet quality, lower energy intakes, and body weight. Dietary energy density can be lowered by adding water-rich fruits, vegetables, cooked grains, and soups to the diet, and by reducing the diet's fat content. Low-energy-dense diets can be successfully incorporated into clinical dietetics since they help lower energy intake without reducing food volume and thus help individuals avoid feeling hungry and deprived. There are multiple steps that could be taken by nutrition professionals and food manufacturers to encourage the consumption of low-energy-dense diets. The goal is to develop reduced-calorie eating plans that meet personal food preferences and also provide satisfying food portions. Since using energy density to guide food choices leads to food patterns consistent with dietary guidelines, policy level initiatives should be devised to help ensure that low-energy-dense diets are affordable and accessible to all.

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