Knowledge does not automatically translate into behaviour change. This study examined the relationship between knowledge of appropriate foods and beverages needed for weight loss and the diet of patients seeking weight management.SUBJECTS/METHODS:
A cross-sectional study of 104 consecutive first-time patients (55 women and 49 men) seeking weight management, with a mean age of 37.3 ± 11.8 years and a BMI of 44.9 ± 9.4 kg/m2, was carried out; 67.3% of these patients had a BMI of 40 kg/m2 or greater. Patients were told to design a detailed weight-loss diet that they would recommend to a person with the same characteristics (recommended diet or RD) as themselves and asked whether the RD was similar to their own. Consumed diet (CD) was assessed by a different dietitian through a 24-h diet recall. Estimated energy requirement (EER), energy content of RD and CD and number of fruit, vegetable, cereal and sweetened-beverage portions were calculated. Statistical differences were assessed through the Pearson's correlation and the Wilcoxon's rank-sum tests.RESULTS:
RD and CD were 1104 ± 243 and 1976 ± 708 kcal for women and 1254 ± 287 and 2743 ± 1244 kcal for men, with statistical differences for both genders (P<0.001). Energy content of the RD was lower than the EER in men and women (P<0.001); CD was lower than the EER in women (P = 0.033). Number of fruit/vegetable portions was lower in CD than in the RD in women (P<0.001), whereas cereal and sweetened-beverage portions were higher in CD than in the RD in both genders (P<0.001). RD was not followed by 46.1% of the patients.CONCLUSIONS:
Patients with obesity seeking care have knowledge of the appropriate dietary strategies needed for weight loss, but do not translate it into practice. Treatment approaches should include tools that help patients to implement their nutrition knowledge.