Background/Objectives: Direct comparison of fruit and vegetables intakes by sex during weight loss is lacking. The aim was to identify differences between males and females in fruit and vegetable intakes and plasma carotenoid concentrations during weight loss and to examine relationships between change in fruit and vegetable intakes and change in weight in both males and females.
Methods: Men and women (n=100; BMI 25-40 kg.m-2) aged 18 to 60 years were included. Fruit and vegetable intakes were assessed using the validated Australian Eating Survey food frequency questionnaire. Fasting blood was collected to assess plasma carotenoids as biomarkers of fruit and vegetable intakes, which were determined by HPLC.
Results: Changes in fruit and vegetable intake were influenced by baseline intakes, with significant differences in change between the highest and lowest baseline intake quartiles for males and females. Those within the highest baseline intake quartile reduced total fruit and vegetables by approximately 200g/day, while those in the lowest quartile increased intakes by 75g/day. Associations between fruit and vegetable intakes and plasma carotenoid concentrations were stronger at baseline in males than females (total carotenoids: males r=0.342; females r=0.035), but similar when considering change in fruit and vegetable intake and plasma concentrations (total carotenoids males r=0.173; females r=0.188). Fruit and vegetable intakes during weight loss predicted total weight loss for males, but not females (p<0.000).
Conclusions: Baseline intakes have more influence than sex differences on change in fruit and vegetable intakes during weight loss attempts.
Funding source: RLW is supported by an APA Scholarship.