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Dietary Behaviors Help Menopausal Women Lose Weight

Weight-loss interventions have traditionally focused on monitoring calorie intake to create a negative energy balance. Although for some people these strategies have been effective, they are often associated with poor long-term compliance and low satisfaction. To overcome this, various types of dietary plans have emerged to change overweight or obese people’s eating behaviors.

The 2010 U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines advocates a “more healthful eating pattern,” recommending a decrease in consumption of sweets and fats and increased intake of fruits and vegetables.

Bethany Barone Gibbs, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and co-authors report that modifying behavior to focus on specific types of foods was associated with short- and long-term weight loss in postmenopausal women. The researchers analyzed data from the randomized Women on the Move through Activity and Nutrition (WOMAN) study. They tested whether specific behavior changes such as reducing consumption of desserts, fried foods, cheeses and meats, and increasing intake of fish, fruits and vegetables would be associated with short- and long-term weight changes. Their dietary intervention also involved dining out less often. Finally, a gradual increase in the level of physical activity was added as another weight loss intervention. These changes were measured after 6 and 48 months.Their data was compared to those of control participants who attended group sessions that covered a broad range of women’s health issues but involved no dietary modifications.

The results showed that women who followed the dietary interventions and increased their physical activity lost weight at 6 months and at 48 months. In particular, authors reported that decreased consumption of desserts and sugary beverages was consistently associated with short- and long-term weight loss or maintenance. However, increasing fruits and vegetables, as well as decreasing meats and cheeses can help for long-term but not necessarily short-term weight loss or control.


Bankhead, C. Focus Counts for Weight Loss in Menopause. MedPage Today.



Posted in: Healthy Eating, Menopause, News Briefs, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Women's Health

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