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Br J Nutr. 2017 May 16:1-10. doi: 10.1017/S0007114517000952. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of diet pattern and weight gain in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

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1Emory Global Diabetes Research Center,Emory University,Atlanta,GA 30322,USA.
2Department of Epidemiology,University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,Houston,TX 77030,USA.
3Department of Epidemiology and Prevention,Wake Forest School of Medicine,Winston-Salem,NC 27101,USA.
4Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition,Michigan State University,East Lansing,MI 48824,USA.
5Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging and Disease,MedStar Health Research Institute and Georgetown/Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Research,Washington,DC 20057,USA.
6Division of Nephrology,Stanford School of Medicine,Stanford,CA 94304,USA.
7Stanford School of Medicine,Stanford Prevention Research Center,Stanford,CA 94305,USA.
8Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,Stanford School of Medicine,Stanford,CA 94305,USA.
9Department of Epidemiology,University of Iowa College of Public Health,Iowa City,IA 52246,USA.
10Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine,Chapel Hill,NC 27516,USA.
11Children's Nutrition Research Center,Baylor College of Medicine,Room CNRC-2036,Mail Stop BCM320, Houston,TX 77030,USA.


It is unclear which of four popular contemporary diet patterns is best for weight maintenance among postmenopausal women. Four dietary patterns were characterised among postmenopausal women aged 49-81 years (mean 63·6 (sd 7·4) years) from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study: (1) a low-fat diet; (2) a reduced-carbohydrate diet; (3) a Mediterranean-style (Med) diet; and (4) a diet consistent with the US Department of Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Discrete-time hazards models were used to compare the risk of weight gain (≥10 %) among high adherers of each diet pattern. In adjusted models, the reduced-carbohydrate diet was inversely related to weight gain (OR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·76), whereas the low-fat (OR 1·43; 95 % CI 1·33, 1·54) and DGA (OR 1·24; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·33) diets were associated with increased risk of weight gain. By baseline weight status, the reduced-carbohydrate diet was inversely related to weight gain among women who were normal weight (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·63, 0·81), overweight (OR 0·67; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·76) or obese class I (OR 0·63; 95 % CI 0·53, 0·76) at baseline. The low-fat diet was associated with increased risk of weight gain in women who were normal weight (OR 1·28; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·46), overweight (OR 1·60; 95 % CI 1·40, 1·83), obese class I (OR 1·73; 95 % CI 1·43, 2·09) or obese class II (OR 1·44; 95 % CI 1·08, 1·92) at baseline. These findings suggest that a low-fat diet may promote weight gain, whereas a reduced-carbohydrate diet may decrease risk of postmenopausal weight gain.


2010-HEI 2010 Healthy Eating Index; DGA Dietary Guidelines for Americans; aMed Alternate Mediterranean Diet; Diets; Low-fat diets; Mediterranean diet; Obesity prevention; Postmenopausal women; Reduced-carbohydrate diets; Weight gain

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