Low-Energy-Density Diets Effective for Managing Weight

Review of evidence shows link between low-energy diet patterns and weight loss, maintenance

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- There is an association between energy density and body weight, such that consumption of diets lower in energy density may be an effective strategy for weight management, according to study published online April 5 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Ph.D., from the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues described and updated the literature review conducted by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrition Evidence Library, which resulted in the recommendation to manage body weight by consumption of an eating pattern low in energy density.

Included in the review were 17 studies in adults and six cohort studies in children and adolescents. The DGAC found that there was strong and consistent evidence in adults that dietary patterns low in energy density enhanced weight loss and weight maintenance. In addition, moderately strong evidence from longitudinal cohort studies suggested a positive correlation between dietary energy density and increased adiposity in children and adolescents.

"Overall, our findings highlight the growing body of scientific evidence suggesting a relationship between energy density and body weight in adults, children, and adolescents, such that consuming diets lower in energy density may be an effective strategy for managing body weight," the authors write.

One of the authors is a nutrition/science consultant and president of Healthy Directions Inc.

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