Women who were encouraged to eat a low-fat diet with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains were more likely to lose weight and reduce hot flashes and night sweats, according a new study in the journal Menopause. Researchers analyzed 17,473 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial and put them either in a group supported to make specific dietary changes or a control group that received minimal nutrition information and no group support. Although weight loss was not a stated goal for either group, women who adopted the low-fat diet were three times as likely to lose weight, compared with the control group, while women in the control group were twice as likely to gain weight. Women who lost weight were more likely to eliminate hot flashes and night sweats, compared with women who maintained their weight. These improvements were strongest among those who made the dietary changes.
- Kroenke CH, Caan BJ, Stefanick ML, et al. Effects of a dietary intervention and weight change on vasomotor symptoms in the Women’s Health Initiative. Menopause. In press.