Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Higher intakes of fibre help prevent weight gain & increases in waist circumference

Newly published research shows that adults with high fibre intakes are less likely to gain weight and inches around the waist.

It is known that dietary fibre may play a role in obesity prevention. The role that different individual fibre sources play in weight change is less certain. In a recent paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers investigated the association of total dietary fibre, cereal fibre, and fruit and vegetable fibre with changes in weight and waist circumference.

The prospective cohort study included 89,432 European participants, aged 20–78 years, who were initially free of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Participants were followed for an average of 6.5 years. Adjustments were made for follow-up duration, dietary variables, and baseline anthropometric, demographic, and lifestyle factors.

Total fibre was inversely associated with weight and waist circumference change during the study period. For a 10 gram/day higher total fibre intake, there was an estimated 39 g/year weight loss and waist circumference decreased by 0.08 cm/year. A 10 gram/day fibre intake from cereals results in 77 g/year weight reduction and 0.10 cm/year reduction in waist circumference. Fruit and vegetable fibre was not associated with weight change but had a similar effect on waist circumference as total and cereal fibre intake.

Over a period of 6.5 years, weight gain and increases in waist circumference would be expected in typical adults. The findings of this research may support a beneficial role of higher intake of dietary fibre, especially cereal fibre, in prevention of weight and waist circumference gain.