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Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Trial of 2 Federally Recommended Strategies to Reduce Excess Body Fat in Overweight, Low-Income Patients: MyPlate.gov vs Calorie Counting.
McCarthy WJ, Rico M, Chandler M, Herman DR, Chang C, Belin TR, Love S, Ramirez E, Gelberg L. Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Trial of 2 Federally Recommended Strategies to Reduce Excess Body Fat in Overweight, Low-Income Patients: MyPlate.gov vs Calorie Counting. Annals of Family Medicine. 2023 Jan 1; 21(3):213-219.
Since 2011, US authorities have supported the following 2 approaches to healthier body fat composition: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Prevention Program's calorie counting (CC) approach and the US Department of Agriculture's MyPlate (adherence to federal nutrition guidelines). The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of CC vs MyPlate approaches on satiety/satiation and on achieving healthier body fat composition among primary care patients.
We conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing the CC and MyPlate approaches from 2015 to 2017. The adult participants were overweight, of low income, and were mostly Latine (n = 261). For both approaches, community health workers conducted 2 home education visits, 2 group education sessions, and 7 telephone coaching calls over a period of 6 months. Satiation and satiety were the primary patient-centered outcome measures. Waist circumference and body weight were the primary anthropometric measures. Measures were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months.
Satiation and satiety scores increased for both groups. Waist circumference was significantly decreased in both groups. MyPlate, but not CC, resulted in lower systolic blood pressure at 6 months but not at 12 months. Participants for both MyPlate and CC reported greater quality of life and emotional well-being and high satisfaction with their assigned weight-loss program. The most acculturated participants showed the greatest decreases in waist circumference.
A MyPlate-based intervention might be a practical alternative to the more traditional CC approach to promoting satiety and facilitating decreases in central adiposity among low-income, mostly Latine primary care patients.