Research Article| Volume 30, ISSUE 6, P984-995, June 09, 2020

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Body weight of individuals with obesity decreases after a 6-month high pasta or low pasta Mediterranean diet weight-loss intervention

Published:February 24, 2020DOI:


      • The effect of two low-energy Mediterranean diets on body weight was explored.
      • The Mediterranean diets differed for the pasta intake (low or high).
      • Body weight reduction was observed in both groups after 6-month intervention.
      • Both diets improved anthropometrics and physiological parameters and dietary habits.
      • Low-energy Mediterranean diets could be beneficial strategies for weight loss.


      Background & aims

      The effect of pasta consumption within a low-energy Mediterranean diet on body weight regulation has been scarcely explored. This paper investigates the effect of two Mediterranean diets, which differed for lower or higher pasta intake, on body weight change in individuals with obesity.

      Methods & Results

      Forty-nine volunteers finished a quasi-experimental 6-month two–parallel group dietary intervention. Participants were assigned to a low-energy high pasta (HP) or to a low-energy low Pasta (LP) group on the basis of their pasta intake (HP ≥ 5 or LP ≤ 3 times/week). Anthropometrics, blood pressure and heart rate were measured every month. Weight maintenance was checked at month 12. Body composition (bioelectrical impedance analysis, BIA), food intake (24-h recall plus a 7-day carbohydrate record) and the perceived quality of life (36-item short-form health survey, SF-36) were assessed at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Blood samples were collected at baseline and month 6 to assess glucose and lipid metabolism. After 6-month intervention, body weight reduction was −10 ± 8% and −7 ± 4% in HP and LP diet, respectively, and it remained similar at month 12. Both dietary interventions improved anthropometric parameters, body composition, glucose and lipid metabolism, but no significant differences were observed between treatment groups. No differences were observed for blood pressure and heart rate between treatments and among times. HP diet significantly improved perception of quality of life for the physical component.


      Independent of pasta consumption frequency, low-energy Mediterranean diets were successful in improving anthropometrics, physiological parameters and dietary habits after a 6-month weight-loss intervention.
      This trial was registered at as NCT03341650.


      List of abbreviations:

      SF-36 (36-item short-form health survey), BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis), BP (bodily pain), BW (body weight), CVD (cardio-vascular disease), RE (emotional problems), FM (fat mass), FFM (fat-free mass), GH (general health), GI (glycemic index), HC (hip circumference), HP (low-energy High Pasta group), LP (low-energy Low Pasta group), MCS (mental component summary), MH (mental health), OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test), PCS (physical component summary), PF (physical function), RP (physical problems), SF (social function), TBW (total body water), TC (total cholesterol), VT (vitality), WC (waist circumference)
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