Personalized Coupons, Recipes and Education Helped Shoppers Make Healthier Food Purchases

we are interested in scaling this work so it can reach more US adults and help them improve their diet quality and diet-related health.

WeightControl.com Interview with:
Maya Vadiveloo, PhD, RD
Assistant Professor
Nutrition and Food Sciences
University of Rhode Island

Dr.  Vadiveloo

WeightControl.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: We conducted this study with the goal of helping people make healthier dietary choices while at the grocery store. We know that food companies use personalized messages and discounts that prompt people to buy unhealthy foods. We tested whether similar approaches could be used to encourage people to buy healthier foods by sending people 2 personalized, healthy food coupons each week to make these foods more affordable. We also wanted our recommendations to reflect people’s dietary preferences, so we only sent people coupons that aligned with preferences they told us at the beginning of the study .

The coupons were directly linked to people’s loyalty cards and they also received a brief nutrition message and recipe via email every week.

Overall, we found that people liked the personalized healthy food incentives, that it prompted them to purchase more healthy foods, and improved the overall diet quality of their grocery purchases.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Liver Fat Reduction

The main finding from this study is that the green Mediterranean diet, the enhanced version of the Mediterranean diet, rich in walnuts, green tea, and Mankai aquatic plant and low in red/processed meat, was the most successful in liver fat reduction.

WeightControl.com Interview with:
Anat Yaskolka Meir RD Ph.D.
Post-doctoral fellow
Department of Epidemiology
Faculty of Health Sciences
Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

WeightControl.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: In the past 15 years, Prof. Shai’s group at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev has conducted several large-scale, long-term clinical trials among over 1000 participants. Results from our previous DIRECT, CASCADE, and CENTRAL trials indicated that the Mediterranean diet is superior to other diets in terms of reducing cardiometabolic risk (e.g., by achieving lower blood lipids levels). Moreover, specific plant components named “polyphenols” (secondary metabolites of plants with antioxidant properties) might associate with this beneficial effect observed. Following the conclusions from these trials, we designed the DIRECT PLUS trial, aimed to examine whether we can enhance the observed and known effect of the Mediterranean diet by adding specific polyphenol-rich food items. Specifically, we enriched the Mediterranean diet, naturally rich in polyphenols, by adding specific components: Mankai aquatic plant (as green shake), walnuts, and green tea, which provided additional 1240 mg polyphenols a day. We also instructed the participants to avoid red and processed meat. 

The main finding from this study is that the green Mediterranean diet, the enhanced version of the Mediterranean diet, rich in walnuts, green tea, and Mankai aquatic plant and low in red/processed meat, was the most successful in liver fat reduction. This group showed the greatest reduction of hepatic fat (-39%), as compared to the traditional Mediterranean diet (-20%) and the healthy dietary guidelines (-12%). The results were significant after adjusting for weight loss (currently, the primary treatment for fatty liver). Moreover, the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases was reduced in the green group by 50%.

How Much Fasting Is Necessary to Lose Weight?

The main findings of this study were a 3% weight loss in 8 weeks in both groups with a 550-calorie restriction (unintentional) and good adherence to both diets.

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sofia Cienfuegos
PhD Candidate, Human Nutrition.
Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition
University of Illinois at Chicago

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Intermittent fasting has been gaining a lot of popularity lately mainly due to a large group of the general population that don’t like to keep tabs on their caloric intake. Intermittent fasting is a safe and effective alternative to weight loss that does not require people consciously restricting calories. Time restricted feeding (TRF) is one specific type of IF that has been gaining a lot of popularity and public interest lately. Previous studies in TRF with the 16/8 method made people want to try and follow this diet strategy achieving promising results. Some people were wondering if shortening the feeding  window even further would induce better results in terms of weight loss and cardiometabolic health.

Based on this question, we decided to test two different short time restricted feeding methods (18/6 and 20/4) to see if they could induce even better results in weight and health outcomes. We were also wondering if people were able to stick to these interventions considering the short eating window.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings of this study were a 3% weight loss in 8 weeks in both groups with a 550-calorie restriction (unintentional) and good adherence to both diets. Also, we found significant reductions in insulin resistance and oxidative stress in both intervention groups.

Continue reading “How Much Fasting Is Necessary to Lose Weight?”

Does Alternate Day Fasting Lead To Better Weight Control?

This JAMA study evaluates alternate day fasting as a means to better weight control and metabolic health.  The conclusion:

“Alternate-day fasting did not produce superior adherence, weight loss, weight maintenance, or cardioprotection vs daily calorie restriction.”

Trepanowski JF, Kroeger CM, Barnosky A, Klempel MC, Bhutani S, Hoddy KK, Gabel K, Freels S, Rigdon J, Rood J, Ravussin E, Varady KA. Effect of Alternate-Day Fasting on Weight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Cardioprotection Among Metabolically Healthy Obese AdultsA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(7):930-938. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0936

Physical Exercise At Various Tempos Useful For Improving Physical Fitness

Study demonstrates that physical exercise at various tempos is useful for improving physical fitness, developing motor skills, and thus probably preventing obesity complications.

Benefits of a regular vs irregular rhythm-based training programme on physical fitness and motor skills in obese girls.

Racil G1, Elmontassar W2,3, Rommene I2, Tourny C4, Chaouachi A2, Coquart JB4.

DASH Diet Linked To Lower Risk of Gout

A British Medical Journal study concluded “the DASH diet may provide an attractive preventive dietary approach for men at risk of gout”.