Research findings published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggest that fruit and fibre are linked to weigh management in adults.
After studying the diets of 52 normal-weight adults and 52 overweight or obese adults, researchers found that normal-weight adults ate more fibre and fruit each day than their overweight and obese counterparts.
For all study subjects, researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and colleagues determined the dietary amount of 60 food items using a food frequency questionnaire, assessed physical activity levels and determined percent body fat. All of the subjects were about the same age and height.
Overall, the overweight and obese subjects consumed more total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and less carbohydrate, specifically dietary fibre and complex carbohydrate, than normal weight subjects.
Normal-weight adults consumed an average of 33 percent more dietary fibre and 43 percent more complex carbohydrates daily than their overweight and obese counterparts. Dietary fibre and complex carbohydrate intake were inversely related to body weight and "most strongly" to percent body fat.
Compared with normal-weight subjects, overweight and obese subjects consumed about one less fruit serving daily, which may partly explain their lower fiber and carbohydrate intake.
The mechanism by which dietary fibre may lead to weight management is due to slow digestion, prolonging that "full" feeling, as well foods high in fibre are usually low in fat and calories.
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