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Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):455-61. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.12.002. Epub 2011 Dec 30.

Evaluation of the usefulness of a low-calorie diet with or without bread in the treatment of overweight/obesity.

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Nutrition Department, La Paz University Hospital, Paseo de la Castellana 261, Health Research Institute IdiPAZ, 28046 Madrid Spain.



Despite the lack of scientific evidence, bread is one of the most restricted foods in popular hypocaloric diets. The aim of this study was to compare two nutrition strategies (with or without bread) designed to promote weight loss in overweight/obese women.


A clinical, prospective and randomised study in which 122 women >18 years, BMI ≥ 25 < 40 kg/m(2) were divided into two groups: intervention group (BREAD, n = 61) and control group (NO BREAD, n = 61). Both groups received a low-calorie diet (with or without bread), nutrition education and physical activity guidelines, and were monitored for 16 weeks.


104 women completed the study (48.4 ± 9 years, 29.8 ± 3.5 kg/m(2)). Anthropometric and biochemical markers improved after the intervention without significant differences between groups. BREAD group significantly increased total cereal consumption (3.2 ± 1.3 to 3.7 ± 0.5 servings/day, P < 0.05) and the percentage of energy from carbohydrates (41.2 ± 6.4 vs. 45.9 ± 5.0% P < 0.001) and reduced fat (39.0 ± 6.6 vs. 32.7 ± 5.1% P < 0.001). In contrast, NO BREAD group increased the discrepancy with recommended consumption. NO BREAD group had the most dropouts (21.3% vs. 6.6%, P < 0.05).


The bread inclusion in a low-calorie diet designed for weight loss favoured a better evolution of dietetic parameters and greater compliance with the diet with fewer dropouts. Registered under Identifier no. NCT01223989.

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