A Simulation Study of the Potential Effects of Healthy Food and Beverage Substitutions on Diet Quality and Total Energy Intake in Lower Mississippi Delta Adults

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Nutrition and Food Systems


Kinesiology and Nutrition


The majority of adult diets in the United States, particularly the South, are of poor quality, putting these individuals at increased risk for chronic diseases. In this study, simulation modeling was used to determine the effects of substituting familiar, more healthful foods and beverages for less healthy ones on diet quality and total energy intake in Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) adults. Dietary data collected in 2000 for 1689 LMD adults who participated in the Foods of Our Delta Study were analyzed. The Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HE vertical bar-2005) was used to measure diet quality. The effects of substituting targeted foods and beverages with more healthful items on diet quality were simulated by replacing the targeted items' nutrient profile with their replacements' profile. For the single food and beverage groups, 100% replacement of grain desserts with juice-packed fruit cocktail and sugar-sweetened beverages with water resulted in the largest improvements in diet quality (4.0 and 3.8 points, respectively) and greatest decreases in total energy intake (98 and 215 kcal/d, respectively). The 100% substitution of all food and beverage groups combined resulted in a 12.0-point increase in HE vertical bar-2005 score and a decrease of 785 kcal/d in total energy intake. Community interventions designed to improve the diet of LMD adults through the use of familiar, healthy food and beverage substitutions have the potential to improve diet quality and decrease energy intake of this health disparate population. J. Nutr. 141: 2191-2197, 2011.

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Journal of Nutrition





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