To examine whether a worksite nutrition programme using a low-fat vegan diet could significantly improve nutritional intake.
At two corporate sites of the Government Employees Insurance Company, employees who were either overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and/or had type 2 diabetes participated in a 22-week worksite-based dietary intervention study.
At the intervention site, participants were asked to follow a low-fat vegan diet and participate in weekly group meetings that included instruction and group support (intervention group). At the control site, participants received no instruction (control group). At weeks 0 and 22, participants completed 3 d dietary records to assess energy and nutrient intake.
A total of 109 participants (sixty-five intervention and forty-four control).
In the intervention group, reported intake of total fat, trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol decreased significantly (P ≤ 0·001), as did energy and protein (P = 0·01), and vitamin B12 (P = 0·002), compared with the control group. Intake (exclusive of any use of nutritional supplements) of carbohydrate, fibre, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium increased significantly (P ≤ 0·0001), as did that for β-carotene (P = 0·0004), total vitamin A activity (P = 0·004), vitamin K (P = 0·01) and sodium (P = 0·04) in the intervention group, compared with the control group.
The present study suggests that a worksite vegan nutrition programme increases intakes of protective nutrients, such as fibre, folate and vitamin C, and decreases intakes of total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
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