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Nutr Cancer. 2002;43(2):141-51.

Methods to increase fruit and vegetable intake with and without a decrease in fat intake: compliance and effects on body weight in the nutrition and breast health study.

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Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Dietary patterns that involve a decrease in fat and an increase in fruit and vegetable (FV) intake have been suggested to decrease cancer risks. In this study, intervention methods to selectively modify dietary fat and/or FV intakes were developed. Compliance to the diets and the effects on body weight are shown, because both of these dietary changes can impact on and be confounded by changes in energy intake. A total of 122 women with a family history of breast cancer were randomized onto one of four diets for 12 mo. Counseling methods were devised to increase amount and variety of FV consumed with or without a decrease in fat intake using modified exchange list diets. Women on the low-fat and combination low-fat/high-FV diet arms decreased their fat intakes to approximately 16% of energy. Women on the high-FV and the combination low-fat/high-FV diet arms increased FV intakes to approximately 11 servings/day. Despite counseling efforts to maintain baseline energy intakes, mean body weight increased significantly by 6 pounds in women in the high-FV diet arm and decreased significantly by 5 pounds in women in the low-fat diet arm. Percent body fat also was increased in the high-FV diet arm and decreased in the low-fat diet arm. Body weight and percent body fat in the combination diet arm did not change significantly. Control of energy intake, therefore, appears to have been achieved only when the addition of FV to the diet was balanced by a decrease in fat intake and both dietary components were enumerated daily. Maintenance of energy intake, therefore, did not appear to be attained intrinsically when individuals were counseled to make changes in the composition of their diets.

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