Background/Objectives: Direct evidence for the effects of vegetable intake on weight loss is qualified. The study aimed to assess the effect of higher vegetable consumption on weight loss.
Subjects/Methods: A single blind parallel controlled trial was conducted with 120 overweight adults (mean body mass index=29.98 kg/m2) randomised to two energy deficit healthy diet advice groups differing only by doubling the serving (portion) sizes of vegetables in the comparator group. Data were analysed as intention-to-treat using a linear mixed model. Spearmans rho bivariate was used to explore relationships between percentage energy from vegetables and weight loss.
Results: After 12 months, the study sample lost 6.5±5.2 kg (P<0.001 time) with no difference between groups (P>0.05 interaction). Both groups increased vegetable intake and lost weight in the first 3 months, and the change in weight was significantly correlated with higher proportions of energy consumed as vegetables (rho=–0.217, P=0.024). Fasting glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels decreased (P<0.001 time) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased (P<0.001 time), with no difference between groups. Weight loss was sustained for 12 months by both groups, but the comparator group reported greater hunger satisfaction (P=0.005).
Conclusions: Advice to consume a healthy low-energy diet leads to sustained weight loss, with reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors regardless of an emphasis on more vegetables. In the short term, consuming a higher proportion of the dietary energy as vegetables may support a greater weight loss and the dietary pattern appears sustainable.