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Table 1 Defining features of the calorie counting and MyPlate approaches to desirable weight loss

From: Comparative effectiveness trial comparing MyPlate to calorie counting for mostly low-income Latino primary care patients of a federally qualified community health center: study design, baseline characteristics

Feature Historical approaches Experimental approaches
Diabetes Prevention Programa Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH)b Calorie Counting approach
MyPlate approach
Restricts total calories/day Yes No Yes No
Requires monitoring of calorie intake throughout the day Yes No Yes No
Recommends 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables/day No Yes Noc Yes
Recommends limits on sodium intake No Yes No Yes
Recommends limits on saturated fat intake Yes Yes Yes Yes
Recommends limits on sugary beverage consumption No Yes Yesd Yes
Recommends limiting snacks and sweets even if within calorie limits No Yes No Yes
Requires restraint when still hungry after eating full meal Yes No Yes No
Recommends accompanying exercise ~  30+ min. MVPA*/ day Yes Yes Yes Yes
  1. * MVPA = Moderate to vigorous (aerobic) physical activity
  2. aKnowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, et al. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med. 2002;346 (6):393–403
  3. bAppel LJ, Moore TJ, Obarzanek E, et al. A clinical trial of the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure. N Engl J Med. 1997;336 (16):1117–1124
  4. cThe CC approach encouraged eating more foods low in energy density, especially fruits and vegetables, but the encouragement did not include a target of 8 servings/day
  5. dThe CC approach encouraged limits on weekly consumption of sugary beverages at the behest of community dietitians who otherwise followed a conventional DPP-like CC approach