Richard Hutson and Jane Naufahu, University of Westminster, UK
Purpose: This study looked at diet alteration with the aim of tackling obesity—an ever-growing global epidemic, which due to complex, multi-factorial causes, is yet to be successfully tackled by dietary interventions or public health campaigns. A method of altering the diet that has been found to have positive effects not only on weight loss but also on other indices of cardiovascular health is to increase the protein content of the diet.
Design/methodology/approach: The aim of this study was to compare a group of subjects (n=10, age 27.7+8.5y) through a control phase in which they consumed their habitual diet and an intervention phase in which they followed the CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet, which advocates increased protein intake. Both phases of the study were conducted over two-week periods and outcome measures were taken prior to the control phase, mid-study and after the intervention phase had been completed. Outcome measures included body weight, body composition, HDL/LDL cholesterol, serum triglycerides and satiety ratings.
Findings: The results of the study found significant reductions after the intervention phase in body weight (p<0.001), body fat % (p<0.002), LDL cholesterol (p<0.008) and an increase in post-meal satiety. No differences were found in triglyceride concentration (p<0.185) or HDL cholesterol, although total cholesterol was lowered (p<0.003) and as a result, HDL/Total Cholesterol Ratio was improved. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing intervention showed significant reductions in body weight and other important biomarkers over a two-week period.
Practical implications: This could have important public health benefits as it may allow weight loss to be achieved in individuals who have tried other types of diet unsuccessfully. However before this information is recommended by health professionals, it is important that further research is done into the long-term effects of such a diet on health.
Keywords: CSIRO Diet, Protein, Weight loss, Body composition