The effect of increasing consumption of pulses and wholegrains in obese people: A randomized controlled trial

Bernard J. Venn, Tracy Perry, Tim J. Green, C. Murray Skeaff, Wendy Aitken, Nicky J. Moore, Jim I. Mann, Alison J. Wallace, John Monro, Alison Bradshaw, Rachel C. Brown, Paula M.L. Skidmore, Kyle Doel, Kerry O'Brien, Chris Frampton, Sheila Williams

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Wholegrain intake is inversely related to weight gain over time, but little information is available on the role of pulses in weight control. Objective: To compare weight loss, metabolic outcomes, and nutrient intakes in obese people assigned to a diet rich in pulses and wholegrains or a control diet. Methods: Randomized controlled study of 18 months with 113 volunteers (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 28 kg/m2). Diets were based on guidelines published by the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand. The intervention group was advised to consume 2 serves of pulses and 4 serves of wholegrain foods per day as substitutions for more refined carbohydrates. Results: Fiber intakes were higher, intakes of several vitamins and minerals were better maintained, and dietary glycemic index was lower in the intervention compared with the control group. Mean (standard error [SE]) weight loss at 6 months was 6.0 (0.7) kg and 6.3 (0.6) kg in the control and intervention groups, respectively, and was not different between groups (p > 0.05). Blood pressure, triglycerides, and glycemic load were lowered in both groups compared with baseline. Waist circumference was decreased at 18 months in the intervention compared with the control group (−2.8 cm; 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.4, −5.1). Conclusions: Incorporation of pulses and wholegrain foods into a weight loss program resulted in a greater reduction in waist circumference compared with the group consuming a control diet, although no difference in weight loss was noted between groups. Retention of several nutrients was better with the pulse and wholegrain diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-372
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Fiber
  • Glycemic index
  • Glycemic load
  • Legumes
  • Pulses
  • Weight loss
  • Wholegrain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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