Background/objectives: Globally, fruit and vegetable intakes are well below recommendations despite ample evidence to link insufficient intake with increased risk of overweight and obesity. Intakes of fruits and vegetables in the general population differ between males and females, and although there is growing evidence of intakes in men and women during weight loss, evidence that directly compares intakes in men and women during weight loss is lacking. This study aimed to identify any differences between males and females in fruit and vegetable intakes and plasma carotenoid concentrations during weight loss, and determine whether there is a relationship between any changes in fruit and vegetable intakes and weight change in both males and females.
Subjects/methods: Men and women (n=100; body mass index 25-40 kg/m(2)) aged 18-60 years were selected for the study. Dietary intake of fruits and vegetables was assessed using the Australian Eating Survey and fasting blood was collected to assess plasma carotenoids, which were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Results: There was little change in fruit or vegetable intakes during weight loss, although men tended to increase fruit intakes. Changes in intakes were influenced by baseline intakes, with males and females with the highest intakes at baseline reducing intakes. Males had better correlations between fruit and vegetable intakes and plasma carotenoid concentrations than females, and fruit and vegetable intakes during weight loss appear to predict weight loss for males but not females.
Conclusions: Fruit and vegetable intake during weight loss does not appear to differ largely between males and females.