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Keywords:

  • diet quality;
  • Health Belief Model;
  • Healthy Eating Index-2005;
  • lifestyle;
  • Social Cognitive Theory

Abstract

Background

To date, there are no dietary intervention studies available jointly examining the changes produced in cardiometabolic risk indices and diet quality assessed with the Healthy Eating Index 2005 (HEI-2005). The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of a 3-month multicomponent lifestyle intervention on several cardiometabolic risk indices, physical activity levels and diet quality.

Methods

A total sample of 108 hypercholesterolaemic adults (40–60 years old) were randomised to two intervention groups provided with and instructed to consume daily: (i) plain milk (n = 37) or (ii) enriched milk (n = 40) respectively; both groups were attending a 3-month dietary counselling programme. For the needs of the present study both intervention groups were analysed together IG: n = 77) and were compared against a control group following usual diet (CG: n = 31).

Results

Regarding diet quality HEI scores for ‘milk’ (= 0.021), ‘dark green/orange vegetables and legumes’ (= 0.050) and ‘total HEI score’ (= 0.045) were improved in the IG compared to the CG. The IG also improved ‘whole grains’ and ‘calories from solid fats, alcoholic beverages and added sugars’ scores compared to their baseline values. Both groups improved the ‘total vegetable’ HEI score. Regarding physical activity levels and cardiometabolic risk indices, the IG significantly increased the daily number of steps (= 0.005) and decreased body weight (= 0.021), body mass index (= 0.019) and waist circumference (= 0.027) to a higher extent compared to the changes observed in the CG. Moreover, the IG significantly decreased systolic (= 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (= 0.050) compared to baseline values.

Conclusions

The present study revealed that this 3-month lifestyle and nutrition counselling intervention programme appears to have favourable effects on diet quality, physical activity levels, anthropometric and certain cardiometabolic risk indices.