Study: Dietary Adherence and the Fight Against Obesity

Although eating healthier food and moving more are the basics of weight control and obesity treatment, finding ways to help people adhere to a weight-loss regimen is more complicated.

A new paper from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing analyzes different dietary approaches and clinical trials to better understand how to optimize adherence and subsequent weight reduction, according to a press release.1

Although eating healthier food and moving more are the basics of weight control and obesity treatment, finding ways to help people adhere to a weight-loss regimen is more complicated. Understanding what features make a diet easier or more challenging to follow can help optimize and tailor dietary approaches for obesity treatment, according to the study authors.1

“There is not convincing evidence that one diet is universally easier to adhere to than another for extended periods, a feature necessary for long-term weight management,” said lead investigator of the paper Ariana M. Chao, PhD, CRNP, assistant professor of Nursing at Penn Nursing, in a press release. “Progress in improving dietary adherence could result from greater efforts to examine mechanisms underlying interindividual variability in responses to dietary approaches. The more we understand the characteristics of individuals who are trying to lose weight, the more able we may be to identify dietary interventions that facilitate their efforts.”1

The study outlines a review of meta-analyses and select clinical trials that found that lower-calorie diets, compared with higher-calorie regimens, reliably induced larger short-term weight losses, with deterioration of this benefit over the long term. Additionally, fewer significant long-term differences in weight loss were observed for diets of varying macronutrient composition, although some regimens were found to have short-term advantages, according to the study authors.2

REFERENCES

  • Dietary adherence and the fight against obesity. Penn Nursing. https://www.nursing.upenn.edu/live/news/1825-dietary-adherence-and-the-fight-against-obesity. Published January 26, 202 Accessed January 26, 2021.
  • Chao AM, Quigley KM, Wadden TA. Dietary interventions for obesity: clinical and mechanistic findings. J Clin Invest. 2021;131(1):e140065. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI140065.