Aim To determine the effect of dietary advice in conjunction with advice to increase physical activity on the body composition, blood lipid and insulin profiles in overweight women. \ud \ud Design A 12-week randomized controlled intervention study. Subjects were assigned to one of four groups: (1) no advice, (2) low-fat, high-carbohydrate (including sucrose) energy-reduced diet, (3) 60 min/day brisk walking, and (4) diet and activity advice as previous. \ud \ud Subjects Sixty-nine overweight women (mean age 41 years). \ud \ud Measurements Dietary compliance was assessed by 4-day diet diaries. Activity levels were assessed by Caltrac™ accelerator monitors. Anthropometric changes were recorded at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. Fasting blood samples measuring glucose, insulin, and blood lipids were recorded at baseline and 12 weeks. \ud \ud Results Group 4 achieved greatest weight loss of 4.2 kg and greatest reduction in waist circumference of 6.5 cm. Groups 2 and 4 decreased the percentage energy from fat by 5.2%. Group 3 increased the percentage energy from fat by 4.0%. Group 4 significantly reduced total cholesterol by 0.45 mmol/l and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol by 0.53 mmol/l. \ud \ud Conclusion A low-fat, high-carbohydrate, sucrose-containing diet combined with increased physical exercise resulted in greater health benefits than diet or physical activity advice alone
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