Nutrient-dense, plant-rich dietary intervention effective at reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors for worksites: A pilot study

Jay T. Sutliffe, Joel Fuhrman, Mary Jo Carnot, Raena Beetham, Madison Peddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Context • A worksite provides an excellent opportunity to conduct interventions for health promotion and disease prevention to ameliorate chronic risk factors for disease, such as for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Likewise, nutrient-dense, plant-rich (NDPR) dietary patterns have been shown to be effective at preventing and improving chronic-disease conditions, including CVD. Objective • The study’s aim was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an NDPR dietary intervention for worksites to lower CVD risk factors. Design • The study was a 6-wk pilot intervention using a pretest and posttest design. Setting: The intervention was conducted at the Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ, USA) and sponsored by its Employee Assistance and Wellness Department. Participants • Participants were 35 employees with body mass indexes (BMIs) >25 kg/m2 who were ready and willing to make a lifestyle change, who were not currently participating in a weight loss program, and who were not taking any medications that could increase medical risk or had weight loss as a primary side effect. The average age of participants was 42.57 y; 91.4% were female, and 80% were Caucasian. Intervention • The intervention used a dietary protocol consisting of the daily consumption of greens, beans, legumes, and a variety of other vegetables, as well as fresh or frozen whole fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Participants were encouraged to minimize the consumption of refined grains, vegetable oils, processed foods, and animal products. Outcome Measures • The study measured serum lipids, height, weight, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure. Results • Based on paired-sample t tests and Wilcoxon signed-ranks test with a maximum level of P = .05, the intervention resulted in significant changes in weight, BMI, waist and hip measurements, high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, and estimated average glucose. Conclusions • The findings favorably revealed that an NDPR dietary intervention that was developed for worksites was an effective approach for reducing CVD risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
JournalAlternative therapies in health and medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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