Evaluation of diet pattern and weight gain in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.
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It is unclear which of four popular contemporary diet patterns is best for weight maintenance among postmenopausal women. Four dietary patterns were characterised among postmenopausal women aged 49-81 years (mean 63·6 (sd 7·4) years) from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study: (1) a low-fat diet; (2) a reduced-carbohydrate diet; (3) a Mediterranean-style (Med) diet; and (4) a diet consistent with the US Department of Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Discrete-time hazards models were used to compare the risk of weight gain (≥10 %) among high adherers of each diet pattern. In adjusted models, the reduced-carbohydrate diet was inversely related to weight gain (OR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·76), whereas the low-fat (OR 1·43; 95 % CI 1·33, 1·54) and DGA (OR 1·24; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·33) diets were associated with increased risk of weight gain. By baseline weight status, the reduced-carbohydrate diet was inversely related to weight gain among women who were normal weight (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·63, 0·81), overweight (OR 0·67; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·76) or obese class I (OR 0·63; 95 % CI 0·53, 0·76) at baseline. The low-fat diet was associated with increased risk of weight gain in women who were normal weight (OR 1·28; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·46), overweight (OR 1·60; 95 % CI 1·40, 1·83), obese class I (OR 1·73; 95 % CI 1·43, 2·09) or obese class II (OR 1·44; 95 % CI 1·08, 1·92) at baseline. These findings suggest that a low-fat diet may promote weight gain, whereas a reduced-carbohydrate diet may decrease risk of postmenopausal weight gain.