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NHLBI media availability: Low-fat dietary pattern and weight change

Results of the first study on the long-term effects of a dietary pattern low in fat and high in carbohydrates suggest that a low-fat eating pattern does not lead to weight gain.

The new Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study examined the relationships between weight changes in postmenopausal women and specific changes in types of food eaten. Women in the intervention group were counseled to decrease fat intake to 20 percent of calories and to replace calories from fat with calories from vegetables, fruits, and grains (with an emphasis on whole grains) but were not told to cut calories.

The study was designed to test whether a low-fat, increased carbohydrate diet would reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease but was not a weight loss study. The control group received diet-related education materials only. Participants in the low-fat, increased carbohydrate group initially lost about 5 pounds and after 9 years they weighed about 1 pound less than the usual diet control group.


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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
3-Jan-2006


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