Useless recommendations of nutritionists
The recommendations of the authorities on nutrition issues were recognized as useless
Denis Strigun, Naked Science
An international group of scientists has shown that the recommendations of the US Committee in the field of dietary nutrition only slightly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in overweight people.
It is known that in most cases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus can be reduced by changes in diet and lifestyle. At the state level, the official recommendations of the relevant committees under the Ministries of Health serve as a guideline for such changes. In particular, the US authorities in 2015 recommended three diet options to overweight citizens: the American diet, the Mediterranean diet or the vegetarian diet – all of them involve the inclusion in the diet of a large amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and vegetable proteins.
However, despite the internal policy in the field of combating the consequences of obesity, studies show that people, including overweight, are reluctant to change their diet. To find out whether curation at this stage can increase the effectiveness of the diet, scientists from the University of Toronto and other universities conducted an experiment. 919 Canadians with an average age of 44.7 years and a body mass index (BMI) of 32.4 (first degree obesity) took part in it.
In the course of the work, the authors divided the subjects into four groups. Weekly during the first month and monthly for the next five months, the first group received individual recommendations on the diet during 20-30-minute telephone conversations with specialists. The authors delivered products to the second group weekly for six months in accordance with the chosen diet, while the third group received both products and recommendations. All volunteers also had the Canadian Guidelines on Healthy Eating, while the control group, in addition to this document, did not receive support.
Prior to the start of the experiment, at the end of six and 18 months, participants filled out questionnaires about the frequency of eating, and were also examined for blood pressure levels, biomarkers of coronary heart disease, waist circumference, BMI. The results showed that the groups that received the products from scientists adhered to the planned diet longer. At the same time, the decrease in weight, waist circumference and blood pressure in all groups was insignificant: 0.8–1.2 kilograms, 1.1–1.9 centimeters, 1.1 millimeters of mercury, respectively. The risk of coronary heart disease in all groups also decreased insignificantly (0.19–0.42 percentage points).
According to scientists, the data obtained show that even with individual counseling, official recommendations on healthy nutrition are not able to significantly reduce the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system. Despite the generally positive trend in the revision of the diet, in the long term, such programs were inferior to the usual lifestyle of citizens. Probably, a project to educate the population in institutions of various levels can become more effective: schools, hospitals, sports centers. At the same time, the authorities could develop adaptive recommendations taking into account the cultural and socio-economic characteristics of individual regions.
The results are published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Jenkins et al., Effect of Current Dietary Recommendations on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors).
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