National Survey Highlights Perceived Importance of Dietary Protein to Prevent Weight Gain

Women eating more protein report weight loss success

Philadelphia, PA, April 26, 2013

Atkins Diet, Zone Diet, South Beach Diet, etc., etc., etc. Chances are you have known someone who has tried a high protein diet. In fact, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation, 50% of consumers were interested in including more protein in their diets and 37% believed protein helps with weight loss. In a new study released in the May/June 2013 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers found a relatively high proportion of women who reported using the practice of ‘‘eating more protein’’ to prevent weight gain, which was associated with reported weight loss.

Among a national sample, researchers from the University of Minnesota surveyed 1,824 midlife women (40-60 years old) to (1) describe perceptions about protein sources and requirements, (2) identify the reported frequency of using the ‘‘eating more protein’’ practice to prevent weight gain, and (3) compare reported protein intake to reported frequency of using the ‘‘eating more protein’’ practice to prevent weight gain.

Most women correctly identified good protein sources, and the majority could indicate the daily percent of dietary energy recommended from protein. ‘‘Eating more protein’’ to prevent weight gain was reported by 43% of women (and more than half of obese women) as a practice to prevent weight gain. Reported use of this practice was related to self-reported weight loss over two years. Two factors associated with effective use of this practice included the level of protein intake and self-efficacy toward weight management.

According to Noel Aldrich, lead author, those participants’ who had reported weight loss with “eating more protein” had a protein intake that was consistent with the focus on protein suggested by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. He said, “Education regarding dietary protein requirements may enhance the use of this practice. Women may need more information regarding protein energy content and effective selection of protein sources to enhance protein intake as a weight management strategy. Given that the majority of Americans are overweight, identifying the most effective practices and related factors surrounding successful weight loss and prevention of weight gain are important.”

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Notes for Editors
“Perceived Importance of Dietary Protein to Prevent Weight Gain: A National Survey among Midlife Women,” by Noel D. Aldrich, PhD; Courtney Perry, MS, RD, PhD; William Thomas, PhD; Susan K. Raatz, PhD, RD; Marla Reicks, PhD, RD, appears in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 45, Issue 3 (May/June 2013) published by Elsevier.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732 238 3628 or jnebmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. To schedule an interview with the authors, please contact Dr. Noel Aldrich at naldrich@nwhealth.edu or +1 952 888 4777.

An audio podcast featuring an interview with Noel Aldrich, and information specifically for journalists are located at www.jneb.org/content/podcast. Excerpts from the podcast may be reproduced by the media; contact Eileen Leahy to obtain permission.

About the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (www.jneb.org)
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB), the official journal of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), is a refereed, scientific periodical that serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in nutrition education and dietary/physical activity behaviors. The purpose of JNEB is to document and disseminate original research, emerging issues, and practices relevant to nutrition education and behavior worldwide and to promote healthy, sustainable food choices. It supports the society’s efforts to disseminate innovative nutrition education strategies, and communicate information on food, nutrition, and health issues to students, professionals, policy makers, targeted audiences, and the public.

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior features articles that provide new insights and useful findings related to nutrition education research, practice, and policy. The content areas of JNEB reflect the diverse interests of health, nutrition, education, Cooperative Extension, and other professionals working in areas related to nutrition education and behavior. As the Society's official journal, JNEB also includes occasional policy statements, issue perspectives, and member communications.

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