Nutrition Education Helps Poor Women Lose Weight

Researchers recommend weight-management programs with strong nutrition education component

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-management programs should strongly emphasize nutrition education to help low-income overweight women overcome knowledge inequities and lose weight, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Deborah M. Klohe, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues measured the height and weight of 141 poor, overweight and obese mothers and their children, all of whom were recruited from government and public health clinics and from elementary schools.

The mothers completed demographic and nutrition questionnaires before and after intervention. They also took eight weekly weight-loss classes emphasizing diet, physical activity and behavior modification.

The researchers report that the women who scored highest on nutrition knowledge tests shed the largest amount of weight. The mothers who lost at least 2.27 kg or more had greater knowledge about nutrition than those who did not, the investigators found.

"Weight-management programs should include a strong component of nutrition education to alleviate knowledge inequalities and promote more effective weight control," the authors write. "In low-income mothers, greater initial knowledge may be more predictive of weight loss than gains in knowledge during an intervention."

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