Washington: Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers have found that Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet reduces obesity risk in adolescent girls.
DASH diet emphasizes increased intake of low-fat dairy products, fish, chicken, and lean meats, and nuts, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and legumes.
They found girls who followed the DASH diet pattern had a lower incidence of excess weight gain as measured by body mass index (BMI) over the 10-year period of their adolescence.
The researchers, led by Jonathan Berz, an assistant professor of medicine at BUSM, used data from the National Growth and Health Study to examine the effects of adherence to a DASH-style eating plan and its components on the change in (BMI) in a racially diverse sample of adolescent girls.
The study enrolled 2,379 girls aged nine and 10 years in three cities starting in 1987 to 1988 who were followed for the next 10 years.
"We created a modified DASH food-group score and focused on the seven DASH-related food groups," said Berz.
"We found that study participants with the highest intake of DASH-like food groups had the smallest gains in BMI over time and the lowest BMIs at the end of follow-up, and those with the lowest DASH food pattern score (representing lowest adherence) had a mean BMI that was greater than the threshold for overweight as defined by the 85th percentile by age," he said.
These findings were reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.