Deakin University

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Long-term 5-year effects of a reduced-fat diet intervention in individuals with glucose intolerance

journal contribution
posted on 2001-04-01, 00:00 authored by Boyd Swinburn, P Metcalf, S Ley
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether reducing dietary fat would reduce body weight and improve long-term glycemia in people with glucose intolerance. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A 5-year Follow-up of a 1-year randomized controlled trial of a reduced-fat ad libitum diet versus a usual diet. Participants with glucose intolerance (2-h blood glucose 7.0-11.0 mmol/l) were recruited from a Workforce Diabetes Survey. The group that was randomized to a reduced-fat diet participated in monthly small-group education sessions on reduced-fat eating for 1 year. Body weight and glucose tolerance were measured in 136 participants at baseline 6 months, and 1 year (end of intervention), with follow-up at 2 years (n = l04), 3 years (n = 99), and 5 years (n = 103). RESULTS: Compared with the control group, weight decreased in the reduced-fat-diet group (P < 0.0001); the greatest difference was noted at 1 year (-3.3 kg), diminished at subsequent follow-up (-3.2 kg at 2 years and -1.6 kg at 3 years), and was no longer present by 5 years (1.1 kg). Glucose tolerance also improved in patients on the reduced-fat diet; a lower proportion had type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance at 1 year (47 vs. 67%, P < 0.05), but in subsequent years, there were no differences between groups. However, the more compliant 50% of the intervention group maintained lower fasting and 2-h glucose at 5 years (P = 0.041 and P = 0.026 respectively) compared with control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: The natural history for people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes is weight gain and deterioration in glucose tolerance. This process may be ameliorated through adherence to a reduced fat intake



Diabetes care






619 - 624


American Diabetes Association


Alexandria, VA







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2001, American Diabetes Association.