Objective: Fruit and vegetable consumption is an important part of a healthy diet and assumed to aid in the reduction of energy intake and body weight. Fruits and vegetables may display differential effects on weight and weight loss; however, the effects of the two food groups have rarely been investigated separately.
Methods: The present study focused on the effects of fruit consumption on body weight and weight loss in a sample of 77 overweight and obese dieters enrolled in an intervention program. Food consumption was assessed at baseline by food diaries and after the introduction of nutrition software through electronic food records. Body weight and additional physiologic outcomes were assessed three times, once before the intervention and again at the 3- and 6-mo follow-ups.
Results: Vegetable and fruit consumption differed in their associations with body weight and weight loss. Although vegetable consumption increased as a result of the intervention (P<0.01), fruit consumption did not. However, only fruit consumption was associated with body mass index, showing an inverse relation with body weight in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses (r=-0.27 to -0.44). The relation between fruit consumption and body weight remained significant after controlling for age, gender, physical activity level, and daily macronutrient consumption (DeltaR(2)=0.06-0.13). Further, increases in fruit consumption were associated with subsequent weight loss, controlling for the same covariates (DeltaR(2)=0.05-0.07).
Conclusion: The results indicate unique contributions of fruit consumption to the management of body weight and indicate that a separation of effects for fruit and vegetable food groups may be warranted.
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