Diet-Energy DensityFiberObesity

The contribution of fruit and veggies to weight loss

According to this study, each 100 gram increase in fruit consumption is associated with a reduction of 300 grams of body weight after 6 months.

First, the details.

  • 80 overweight adults attended a nutritional counseling program for 6 months at a primary healthcare center in Brazil.
  • Their diets were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire at the start and end of the study.

And, the results.

  • Each 100-gram increase in fruit consumption was associated with a reduction of 300 grams of body weight after 6 month after adusting the effects of age, gender, physical activity, and total energy intake.
  • The increase of 100 grams per day of vegetables represented a significant body weight loss of 500 grams after 6 months.
  • Greater intake of dietary fiber from fruits/vegetables was associated with significantly greater weight loss after 6 months.
  • Similar results were observed for increased intake of vegetables and fruits as predictors of weight loss.

This study fills a void in the debate over whether eating fruits and veggies can help people loose weight. The CDC has a brochure that attempts to explain how this might be so.

For example:

  • Fruits and vegetables should be substituted for foods high in energy density.
    • To accomplish this, substitute fruit/veggies for high-fat meat, cheese, and pasta.
  • Whole fruit is lower in energy density and more satiating than fruit juices.
    • Pulp-free fruit juices lose there fiber content.
    • For weight control purposes, whole fruit contains added fiber that helps you feel full.
  • Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are good options when fresh produce isn’t available.
    • Choose products without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces, or other ingredients that increase calories.
  • Vegetables tend to be lower in calories than fruit.
    • Substitute more veggies than fruit.

The bottom line?
The CDC reminds us, “To lose weight, people must eat fewer calories than they expend. Adding fruits and vegetables to an existing eating plan that supplies sufficient calories or has more calories than needed can cause the person to gain weight.”

4/23/08 21:55 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.