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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2004 Jun;55(4):279-90.

Weight loss on an energy-restricted, low-fat, sugar-containing diet in overweight sedentary men.

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Centre for Nutrition and Food Research Queen Margaret University College EH12 8TS Edinburgh, UK.


With the increasing prevalence of obesity in the United Kingdom, the search for an effective weight reducing diet is a priority in helping to reverse this trend. A 12-week dietary intervention study was carried out to test the effectiveness of an energy-restricted, low-fat, sugar-containing diet on weight loss in sedentary overweight men. The study also aimed to assess eating behaviour, to measure change in attitude towards sugar-containing foods and to measure the impact of the study on perceived quality of life. Subjects were recruited from three UK cities; Edinburgh, Birmingham and London. Seventy-six men, aged between 25 and 60 years, completed the study. Baseline diets were assessed by a 7-day diet diary. Compliance to the subsequent dietary advice was measured on four occasions post intervention, by 4-day diaries. Measures of body weight status were also monitored. Eating behaviour, attitudes towards sugar-containing foods and quality of life were assessed by questionnaire. Significant reductions in body weight (5.2%), body fat (11.2%) and waist:hip ratio (3%) were observed following reported dietary changes that included a reduction in reported energy intake of 3.2 MJ/day (770 kcal/day), a reduction in the percent energy from fat (from 38.1% to 26.2%), an increase in the percent energy from total carbohydrate (from 44.4% to 54%) and from protein (from 17.3% to 20.6%). Subjects scored relatively highly for dietary restraint and emotional eating, and were strongly influenced by external eating cues. On completion of the 12-week study, subjects had a more positive attitude towards sugar-containing foods and perceived an improved quality of life. It is concluded, therefore, that including sugar-containing foods in a weight-reducing diet may be an effective strategy to achieve a palatable, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, which promotes weight loss in overweight individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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