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AHA: A Diverse Diet May Not Promote a Healthy Weight

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 -- The long-standing recommendation to eat a variety of foods may not be a sound way to promote healthy eating patterns and a healthy body weight, according to an American Heart Association science advisory published online Aug. 9 in Circulation.

Marcia C. de Oliveira Otto, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues summarized definitions for dietary diversity and reviewed current evidence on its relationship with obesity outcomes, eating behavior, and food-based diet quality measures.

The authors report that current data do not support greater dietary diversity as an effective strategy to promote healthy eating patterns and healthy body weight. Instead, the authors promote a healthy eating pattern that emphasizes adequate intake of plant foods, protein sources, low-fat dairy products, vegetable oils, and nuts, and limits consumption of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meats.

"Eating a more diverse diet might be associated with eating a greater variety of both healthy and unhealthy foods," de Oliveira Otto, Ph.D., said in a statement. "Combined, such an eating pattern may lead to increased food consumption and obesity."

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Posted: August 2018


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