Want to Lose Weight?
Eat More, Study Finds
Losing weight may be as simple as eating
more -- eating more fruits and vegetables and less food that is
"calorie-dense" such as cheese, researchers said.
Dieters who were told to eat foods
that fill you up with water and fiber, such as vegetables and
fruits, lost weight without counting calories and without gimmicks,
a team at Pennsylvania State University found.
And a second study looking at what
people normally eat found that those who eat more fruits and vegetables
tend to weigh less.
Both studies were presented to
a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"In one of the studies, we looked
at the eating patterns of 7,500 men and women who constituted
a representative sample of American adults," said Dr. Barbara
Rolls, a nutritionist who directed both studies.
"In the other study, 101 obese
women were counseled to increase their intake of water-rich foods
and to select reduced-fat foods rather than full-fat ones. In
both cases, eating more low-energy-dense, water-rich foods, such
as fruits and vegetables, was associated with lower body weights,"
Rolls said in a statement.
Rolls said these are the first
large studies to demonstrate scientifically what common sense
dictates -- fill up on less-fattening foods and lose weight.
Groups such as the American Heart
Association have long advocated eating more fruits and vegetables
and eating less calorie-laden food such as meat, cheese and sweets.
The approach also underlies diets such as Weight Watchers.
And several recent studies have
shown that while diets such as high-protein regimens can help
weight loss, the effects are short-term.
The Penn State team studied 7,500
typical Americans interviewed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals.
Those who ate more "low energy
dense" foods ate more food, by weight, than people who ate calorie-dense
foods. But they ate fewer calories.
For the second study Julie Ello-Martin
divided 101 obese women into two groups. One group was asked to
eat more water-rich foods and to choose fat-reduced foods, while
the other was put on a stricter diet focused on cutting portion
size and fat.
After the first six months, the
women told to fill up on vegetables had lost an average of 21
pounds while the women on the stricter diet had lost only 15 pounds,
"This is the first long-term study
to look at how a low energy density diet can affect body weight.
It's important because it shows that a healthy diet pattern can
result in significant weight loss without counting calories or
fat grams," Ello-Martin said
Reference Source 89
November 18, 2004