Dietary strategies for weight management

Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2012:73:37-48. doi: 10.1159/000341285. Epub 2012 Oct 29.


In an 'obesogenic' environment, getting people to eat appropriate amounts is challenging. Several food-based strategies have the potential to promote satiety and moderate energy intake. Components of foods such as macronutrients and functional ingredients can affect satiety; however, for weight management a more comprehensive approach is needed that emphasizes behavioral strategies to improve the overall diet. Research shows that large portions of energy-dense foods facilitate overconsumption and that reductions in portion size and energy density are associated with reduced energy intake. While this suggests that people should eat smaller portions, recent data show that if people lower the energy density of their diet, they can continue to eat their usual amount of food while limiting calories. Furthermore, serving larger portions of low-energy-dense foods can be used strategically to encourage their consumption and reduce dietary energy density, and this has been shown to be associated with decreased energy intake while maintaining satiety. This new understanding of how portion size can be used positively to manage energy intake has the potential to help people achieve sustainable improvements in their energy intake and bodyweight. Science-based strategies that increase the availability of affordable nutrient-rich, lower energy-dense foods are urgently needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Eating
  • Edible Grain
  • Energy Intake
  • Environment
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Meat*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Satiation
  • Vegetables


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins