1Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, México, 2Universidad Iberoamericana León, León, Mexico.
Background and objective. Having healthy eating habits is essential for cardiometabolic health in people with risk of metabolic syndrome. Workers, before the 2020 pandemic situation, were a captive population, and in Mexico, more than 70% of the adults present abdominal obesity. Interventions with nutritional counseling are challenging to plan and to be followed by the subjects involved, and it is also hard to evidence their impact on health. Objective.
We evaluated the effect of a 9-month nutritional counselling intervention on eating behavior, body composition and metabolic markers in workers with abdominal obesity in a worksite context.
Methods. Quasi-experimental study in workers (water-treatment plant, Western-Mexico). Waist circumference ≥102cm or ≥88cm, in men and women, respectively, was used as criteria of abdominal obesity. Intervention. an intensive (6 months) and a follow-up phase (3 months). Parameters were evaluated twice (beginning-end). We used dietary behaviour and diet quality questionnaires.
Results. Only 54 participants concluded the intervention. They significantly reduced their waist circumference by a median of 2.5 cm (IQR.5.7) and 2.2 cm (IQR.6.1). We also identify significant reductions for VLDL [Median. -0.5 mg/dL (IQR.11.7) and -2.0 mg/dL (IQR.12.5)] and for total serum lipids [Median. - 4.0 mg/dL (IQR.114.7) and -24.0 mg/dL (IQR.123.0)]. The number of men and women drinking plain water increased 11% and 37.7%, respectively, as well as fish intake consumers (18.6% more men and 33.9% more women). But, certain undesirable behaviors (i.e., intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and takeaways) were unaffected. We expected greater adherence to this type of nutritional intervention and less dropout (<50%).
Conclusions. Nutrition counseling is effective to achieve positive changes in dietary behaviors, waist circumference and plasma lipids in the short term. For those subjects who completed participation, the results are encouraging. It will be necessary to identify in future studies, with greater emphasis, which characteristics of the subjects and of the nutritional counseling contribute to ensure adherence, because it is necessary to improve the health of the population through better dietary choices.
Keywords: nutritional counselling, abdominal obesity, cardiometabolic risk, behavior change, worksite intervention, nutrition survey, nutrition assessment.