Convenience foods are usually discouraged in weight loss diets as they are associated with higher intakes of energy, fat, salt and sugar. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of including convenience foods in weight loss regimens. Obese adults (131F, 50M) were randomly assigned one of three iso-energetic (5,500–7,500 kJ), weight loss meal patterns – six meals a day (6D) (n = 61); three meals and three snacks (33D) (n = 59); and three meals (3D) (n = 61). Weight and body composition was assessed at baseline and three months using Tanita TBF300GS scale. Each diet pattern included convenience foods as part of options that participants could choose. More choices were available on the plans with more frequent eating occasions. During follow up sessions, limited samples of convenience foods such as biscuits, soups, juices, pre-packaged cheese and crackers, cooking stock and crisps, were offered to participants at no cost. Popular fast food suggestions were also provided as optional alternatives to fresh prepared selections. Preliminary data at 3 months (one way analysis of variance) showed more positive outcomes with small frequent meals with respect to weight −6.5% 6D vs. −4.8% 33D, −4.9% 3D p = 0.041, and fat weight loss −8.3% 6D vs. −2.9% 33D and −4.8% 3D p = 0.048. This suggests that including convenience foods in a weight loss diet does not negatively impact on weight and body composition. Further analyses are required to determine any long term effects of including convenience foods in weight loss diets.
Dietitians Association of Australia 24th National Conference, 2006. Abstracts: Poster Presentations of the 2006 DAA National Conference (presented in Nutrition & Dietetics Vol.63, Supp.1) (Sydney 11-13 May, 2006) p. A45-A45