DASH Diet Helps Improve Young Girls' BMI

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Should all preteens follow the DASH diet eating plan?

The DASH diet is the buzz going around. It was recently named as the best overall diet by U.S. News and World Report. The diet, whose acronym stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH), was originally studied as a treatment for adults with hypertension. Now doctors are saying it may have beneficial health effects in young girls and help them safely lower their BMI index.

Jonathan P. B. Berz, M.D., M.Sc., of Boston University Medical Center, and colleagues evaluated the effects of a DASH-style eating plan on BMI on 2,237 nine-year-old girls. The girls participated in the National Growth and Health Study from 1987-1988 and were followed up for 10 years after.

Science Daily reports that “participants who consumed two or more servings of fruit per day had the smallest gains in BMI during the study years and had the lowest BMI at the end of follow-up. Compared with participants consuming the least amount of whole grains, those who consumed the most had lower BMI scores over time and a lower BMI at the end of follow-up. The same results were seen for girls consuming higher amounts of low-fat dairy products.”

The study’s authors say the proof is in the results:

In particular, higher consumption of fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy products led to less weight gain. We found that higher adherence to a DASH-style diet resulted in a consistently lower BMI between the ages of 9 and 19 years. Such an eating pattern may help prevent excess weight gain during adolescence.

The DASH Diet was also ranked number one for preventing or managing diabetes.

Get the full scoop on the Dash Diet here.

Image: MorgueFile

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