Dietary strategy to manipulate ad libitum macronutrient intake, and glycaemic index, across eight European countries in the Diogenes Study
The aim of this study was to describe the development and implementation of a multifaceted, low-fat, weight-loss strategy for a Pan-European randomized controlled dietary intervention study, Diogenes. There were 891 families with at least one overweight/obese parent who underwent screening. Eligible, overweight/obese adults followed an 8-week weight-loss phase with a fixed low-energy diet (800 kcal). On attaining weight loss of ≥8%, families were randomized to a 6- or 12-month low-fat (25-30%E) diet either based on national dietary guidelines or one of four interventions: low protein (LP)/low glycaemic index (LGI), LP/high GI (HGI), high protein (HP)/LGI and HP/HGI. The impact of each diet in preventing weight (re)gain was tested. A points-based system was used to manipulate dietary protein and carbohydrate. Manipulating carbohydrate composition involved substituting foods with a relatively high or low GI. A questionnaire was designed and completed by study investigators, providing feedback on the dietary intervention methods used to inform future interventions. The points system allowed macronutrient manipulations without compromising dietary flexibility or enforcing energy restrictions. Reported centre/participant differences in the ease of implementing the intervention may reflect dietary diversity and personal preferences for specific weight-management strategies. The points system provides a useful starting point for designing improved experimental paradigms for the manipulation of dietary intake in future trials. © 2009 International Association for the Study of Obesity.