The effect of dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials

Obes Rev. 2016 May;17(5):442-54. doi: 10.1111/obr.12391. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Background: Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet is rich in foods that are proposed to be inversely associated with obesity. Therefore, DASH might better affect body weight; however, published data are conflicting.

Objective: To assess the effect of DASH on body weight and composition in adults.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus and Google scholar were searched up to December 2015, for relevant randomized controlled clinical trials. Mean changes in body weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were extracted.

Results: Thirteen articles (ten for body weight, six for BMI and two for WC) were eligible. Meta-analysis revealed that adults on DASH diet lose more weight (weighted mean difference [WMD] = -1.42 kg, 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: -2.03, -0.82) in 8-24 weeks, BMI (WMD = -0.42 kg m(-2) , 95%CI: -0.64, -0.20) in 8-52 weeks and WC (WMD = -1.05 cm, 95%CI: -1.61, -0.49) in 24 weeks compared with controls. Low caloric DASH led to even more weight reduction when compared with other low-energy diets. In addition, the effect was greater in overweight/obese participants and when compared with typical (Western or population's usual) diets.

Conclusion: DASH diet is a good choice for weight management particularly for weight reduction in overweight and obese participants.

Keywords: DASH; body weight; dietary approaches to stop hypertension; obesity.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Obesity
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic