(HealthDay News) – Women who report “eating more protein” as a weight loss strategy achieve weight loss over two years, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Noel D. Aldrich, PhD, from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN, and colleagues analyzed data from a national survey of 1,824 midlife women (aged 40–60 years) from the nine U.S. geographic regions. The participants were primarily married (71%), white (76%), and well-educated; about half reported being postmenopausal (49%). The correlation between weight change, protein intake, and the practice of “eating more protein” to prevent weight gain was assessed.

The researchers found that most participants were able to correctly identify good protein sources, and could indicate the daily percent dietary energy recommended from protein. 43% of participants reported “eating more protein” as a practice to prevent weight gain. This practice correlated with weight loss over a two-year period and with an increase in the percent of energy from protein.

“Reported use of this practice was related to self-reported weight loss over two years,” the authors write. “Women may need more information regarding protein energy content and effective selection of protein sources to enhance protein intake as a weight management strategy.”

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