Compliance Rates in Overweight Subjects Following Low Sucrose and Sucrose Containing Diets

West, Janet Anne (1998). Compliance Rates in Overweight Subjects Following Low Sucrose and Sucrose Containing Diets. MPhil thesis The Open University.



Clinical obesity in the U.K. today is escalating despite continual attempts to reduce it (Prentice and Jebb, 1995). Compliance is central to successful weight loss and is influenced by many factors including dietary composition. It is postulated that deviations from reducing diets may be due to the exclusion of particular foods such as those containing added sucrose. Traditionally this type of sugar has been excluded from weight reducing diets and blamed as a significant contributor to obesity. However, evidence to justify the removal of it is sparse. Westenhoefer et al, (1993) suggest that the avoidance of sucrose offers no advantages in weight-reducing diets, yet it is still routinely excluded in dietetic practice. The present study compares the rates of weight loss of overweight individuals on two energy reduced diets in which the amounts of commercially added sucrose are varied.
Compliance may also be affected by behavioural Actors. Attitudes and beliefs about different foods are important determinants as to whether a particular food is consumed (Shepherd, 1989) and therefore, whether prescribed diets are adhered to.
The present crossover study evaluated compliance rates, weight loss and dietary beliefs of subjects on two isoenergetic energy reduced diets, containing quantifiable differences in added sucrose. Sixty-eight subjects were randomly allocated to either a Low Sucrose Diet (LSD, providing no more than 5% energy from added sucrose) or a Sucrose Containing Diet (SCD, providing 10% energy from added sucrose) for eight weeks and then switched to the alternate diet for 8 weeks. A questionnaire to explore attitudes and beliefs towards the diet was completed at weeks 0, 8 and 16. Weight was measured every fortnight and food record diaries were completed at baseline and weeks 2, 4 and 8 of each diet.
Weight loss at eight weeks was 2.2kg (LSD) and 3.0kg (SCD). During weeks 9-16 minimal weight loss occurred. Interpretation of nutrient data after "switch over" was not possible due to under-reporting. Added sucrose levels at week 8 were 5% (LSD) and 9.0% (SCD) energy. Fat was lower on the SCD than on the LSD at this time. Both groups had positive attitudes towards reducing sucrose in their diets.
In conclusion, weight loss can occur on a weight reducing diet which contains added sucrose. However preexisting negative attitudes towards the inclusion of added sucrose and foods containing it could create barriers to compliance using this approach.

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