Researchers from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, study the diet patterns in 52 normal weight people and 52 obese or overweight people and found that the normal people generally ate more fruits and fibres than their obese counterparts.
The study that was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association stated that the composition of a diet, especially with a low dietary fibre and fruit intake, plays a role in the development of obesity. Dr Jaimie N Davis of the and colleagues determined the dietary amount of 60 food items using a food frequency questionnaire, assessed physical activity levels and determined percent body fat in all the study subjects. It was explained that the researchers had picked all the subjects for the study around the same age and height.
The researchers found noticeable differences in the dietary habits between the two groups. They found that the subjects who were overweight and obese generally consume more amounts of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and less carbohydrate, specifically in the form of dietary fibre and complex carbohydrate, than subjects with normal weight. They wrote in their study that the differences in diet composition might have played a vital role in promoting or preventing obesity.
The researchers noted that the adults with normal weight generally consume an average of 33% more dietary fibre and 43% more complex carbohydrates daily than their overweight and obese counterparts. They explained that the dietary fibre and complex carbohydrate intake were inversely related to body weight and even more strongly to percentage body fat. They found that the overweight and obese subjects generally consumed about one less fruit serving daily, which may somewhat explain their reduced fibre and carbohydrate.
It was explained that there were several means by which dietary fiber might reduce the risk of weight gain or obesity, for example they tend to slow the process of digestion, prolonging that felling of fullness, and foods high in fibre are usually low in fat and calories. The researchers noted in their report that, "The public is still attracted to popular weight-loss strategies that emphasise decreasing carbohydrate and increasing fat and protein. Although there is evidence that high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets produce substantial weight loss in the short-term, to date there are no long-term studies that examine the effects of these regimens."
Davis told the press that the current study gives no magic formula for weight loss, he said, Dietary fibre, complex carbohydrates and fruit were associated with lower body fat stores in adults. He concluded by adding, "These results suggest that increasing dietary fibre, complex carbohydrates and fruit in an individual's diet should be an important part of dietary interventions."