A simple dietary message to improve dietary quality: Results from a pilot investigation

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Clinical and Population Health Research Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Counseling; Diet; Dietary Fats; Dietary Fiber; Fatty Acids; Feasibility Studies; Female; *Health Education; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Patient Compliance; Pilot Projects; Weight Loss


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


OBJECTIVE: The present study compared the feasibility of two simple messages (a high-fiber diet or a low saturated fat diet) to a combination message (high fiber/low saturated fat) on their potential to affect dietary quality and metabolic health.

METHODS: Thirty-six subjects were randomized to one of three intervention conditions and received individual dietary counseling sessions. Study assessments occurred at baseline, 3 mo, and 6 mo.

RESULTS: The sample was 84% female and 94% Caucasian. Mean body mass index was 31kg/m(2). At the 6-mo assessment phase, we retained all 12 patients in the high-fiber diet condition, 10 of 12 in the low saturated fat condition, and 9 of 12 in the combination condition. Participants reported that the dietary fiber intervention was easier to maintain compared with the other two intervention conditions (83% for high dietary fiber versus 60% for low saturated fat versus 33% for the combination, P=0.008). Overall dietary quality improved in all three conditions during the study (P=0.01). In addition to increasing fiber, the high-fiber condition decreased their saturated fat intake, even though a reduction in saturated fat was not a part of that intervention condition. Participants in all three conditions lost an average of 9 lb from baseline weight (P<0.001).

CONCLUSION: A simple dietary message is feasible and can improve overall dietary quality. Results support the need for a larger randomized controlled trial that is powered to detect the efficacy of a simplified dietary recommendation for dietary quality and metabolic health.

DOI of Published Version



Nutrition. 2009 Jul-Aug;25(7-8):736-44. Epub 2009 Apr 9. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID