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Prev Med. 2013 Sep;57(3):238-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.05.026. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

Associations between self-reported weight management methods with diet quality as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005.

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  • 1Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD 20740-3835, USA.



We examine the relationship between weight management practices and diet quality.


Regressions were used to analyze the associations between self-reported weight management methods and diet quality, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005), of 1,933 respondents who tried to lose or not gain weight in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The regressions controlled for sociodemographics, lifestyle behaviors, and other health-related behaviors and perceptions.


Including both switching to foods with lower calories and exercise in weight management was associated with better diet quality, i.e., a higher total HEI-2005 score and higher scores in eight of the twelve HEI-2005 components than including neither method. The eight components included six components on fruit, vegetables and grains, milk, and calories from solid fat, alcohol beverages, and added sugars. Similar but smaller associations were also found among those who reported including either switching to foods with lower calories or exercise.


Based on self-reported data, the findings suggest that including switching to lower calorie foods and exercise in weight management, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), is associated with diet quality that is more consistent with the key diet-related advice of the DGA.

Published by Elsevier Inc.


Diet quality; Obesity; Weight management

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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