Many continue to eat high-fat American diet even when trying to lose weight

Armen Hareyan's picture

High-Fat Diets and Losing Weigh

More than half of dieters ignore standard recommendations of reducing their fat intake and increasing carbohydrate consumption, according to findings from a Pitt team led by Lora Burke, Ph.D., F.A.A.N., principle investigator of the study and professor of nursing and epidemiology.


The study, "Dietary Practices Among People Seeking Weight Loss Treatment," used a 38-item questionnaire to identify dieters' eating habits. Based on those responses, the researchers discovered that 55 percent of the individuals surveyed showed eating patterns consistent with the typical American diet, which is comprised of more than 40 percent fat and less than 45 percent carbohydrates.

The study also examined the eating patterns of a number of sub-categories, which also resulted in findings of note. Non-white participants were likely to have higher fat and cholesterol intake, and unemployed participants had scores that indicated higher cholesterol-saturated fat intake. Additionally, individuals with no education beyond high school consumed fewer carbohydrates.

The study's findings suggest that socio-demographic factors should be considered by health care providers attempting to improve their patients' eating and dietary habits.