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Can J Diet Pract Res. 2009 Spring;70(1):44-7.

Dietary intakes, attitudes toward carbohydrates of postmenopausal women following low carbohydrate diets.

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Department of Nutrition, Arizona State University Polytechnic, Mesa, AZ, USA.



Middle-aged women have the highest levels of obesity and comprise the largest group of dieters. Few investigators have examined how women apply weight-loss diet principles in an unsupervised setting. Dietary intakes and attitudes toward carbohydrates were examined in women who were self-reported low carbohydrate dieters (SRLCDs); these intakes and attitudes were compared with those of women who were following their normal diet (non-dieters [NDs]).


A convenience sample of 29 postmenopausal women aged 45 to 65 was recruited. Data were obtained by interview, questionnaire, and direct anthropometric measurement. Descriptive statistics, chi-square analysis, and analysis of variance were used to compare groups.


Although total energy and protein intakes were similar, SRLCDs consumed significantly more fat and less carbohydrate (expressed as a percentage of total energy) and more cholesterol and less fibre than did NDs. Both groups had unfavourable attitudes toward carbohydrates.


The SRLCDs ate more fat than recommended. Women who are considering following a low carbohydrate diet need to know the nutritional risks of unbalanced self-designed low carbohydrate diets. Negative attitudes toward carbohydrates were not confined to dieters. Nutrition education is necessary to help consumers understand basic nutrition principles and to be more skeptical of fad diets.

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