A majority of individuals who are attempting to lose weight may perceive that the quality of their diet is better than measured, according to study results presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022, held from November 5th through 7th, in Chicago, Illinois.
Researchers sought to determine how perceived diet quality relates to diet quality calculated from standard methods to understand factors that may affect the effectiveness of dietary interventions.
The randomized weight loss trial calculated patients’ Healthy Eating Index scores before and after intervention from dietary recalls. The participants’ self-perception of preintervention and postintervention diet quality was rated on a scale of 0 to 100 at 12 months postintervention. The Bland-Altman method was used to assess the differences between perceived and calculated diet quality. Scores within 6 points were considered as good agreement between measures.
The participants with complete Healthy Eating Index score and perceived diet quality data (n=116) were primarily women (79%), White (84%), and had a median age of 51.5 years. About one-quarter of the group had good agreement between Healthy Eating Index and perceived diet quality scores at 12 months, with the differences between scores ranging from -44.8 to 29.9 points. Most of the disagreement was owing to higher perceived diet quality scores (mean [SD], 67.6 [18.5]) vs Healthy Eating Index scores (mean [SD], 56.4 [13.6]).
Of the cohort, 12% of participants had good agreement between change in Healthy Eating Index and change in perceived diet quality scores, with differences ranging from -68.4 to 39.6 points. Disagreement was mostly related to higher perceived improvement in diet quality (mean, 18.6 points) compared with improved Healthy Eating Index scores (mean, 1.3 points).
Study limitations include most of the cohort were women and White.
“People attempting to lose weight or health professionals who are helping people with weight loss or nutrition-related goals should be aware that there is likely more room for improvement in the diet than may be expected,” stated Dr Jessica Cheng, lead author of the study, in a press release.
Disclosure: One of the authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.
This article originally appeared on The Cardiology Advisor
Cheng J, Costacou T, Sereika SM, et al. Relationship between perceived and measured diet quality improvements in a randomized weight loss trial. Presented at: The American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022; November 5-7, 2022; Chicago, IL. Abstract # 385.
Study finds dieters may overestimate the healthiness of their eating habits. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; October 31, 2022.