A high-carbohydrate, high-fiber, low-fat diet results in weight loss among adults at high risk of type 2 diabetes

for the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Weight loss is a key factor in reducing diabetes risk. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a completed clinical trial that randomly assigned individuals at high risk of diabetes to a placebo (PLBO), metformin (MET), or intensive lifestyle intervention (ILS) group, which included physical activity (PA) and reduced dietary fat intake. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the associations between diet and weight at baseline and to identify specific dietary factors that predicted weight loss among DPP participants. Methods: Diet was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. The associations between intakes of macronutrients and various food groups and body weight among DPP participants at baseline were assessed by linear regression, adjusted for race/ethnicity, age, sex, calorie intake, and PA. Models that predicted weight loss at year 1 were adjusted for baseline weight, change in calorie intake, and change in PA and stratified by treatment allocation (MET, ILS, and PLBO). All results are presented as estimates ± SEs. Results: A total of 3234 participants were enrolled in the DPP; 2924 had completed dietary data (67.5% women; mean age: 50.6 ± 10.7 y). Adjusted for calorie intake, baseline weight was negatively associated with carbohydrate intake (-1.14 ± 0.18 kg bodyweight/100 kcal carbohydrate, P < 0.0001) and, specifically, dietary fiber (21.2660.28 kg/5 g fiber, P < 0.0001). Baseline weight was positively associated with total fat (1.25 ± 0.21 kg/100 kcal, P < 0.0001), saturated fat (1.96 ± 0.46 kg/100 kcal, P < 0.0001), and protein (0.21 ± 0.05 kg/100 kcal, P < 0.0001). For all groups, weight loss after 1 y was associated with increases in carbohydrate intake, specifically dietary fiber, and decreases in total fat and saturated fat intake. Conclusions: Higher carbohydrate consumption among DPP participants, specifically high-fiber carbohydrates, and lower total and saturated fat intake best predicted weight loss when adjusted for changes in calorie intake. Our results support the benefits of a high-carbohydrate, high-fiber, low-fat diet in the context of overall calorie reduction leading to weight loss, which may prevent diabetes in high-risk individuals. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00004992. J Nutr 2017;147:2060-6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2060-2066
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbohydrate
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Macronutrient
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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