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July 2020

Arch Fam Med. 1995 Feb; 4(2): 153-8.

Factors that facilitate compliance to lower fat intake.

Barnard ND, Akhtar A, Nicholson A.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, DC.

The success of dietary interventions that are prescribed to reduce the risk of heart disease depends on the degree to which patients actually change their diets. A review of research trials using different diets and various means of fostering dietary change to reduce cardiac risk factors identified specific factors that are associated with a greater degree of dietary change. Contrary to the common conception that strict diets are unacceptable to patients, those research studies that set stricter limits on fat intake achieved a greater degree of dietary change than did studies with more modest goals. Additional factors used by studies that achieved a lower fat intake include monitoring dietary intake at least monthly, family involvement, group support, provision of food, initial residential treatment, the use of vegetarian diets, and symptomatic subjects. These factors may be useful to researchers and to clinicians seeking to improve dietary compliance in patients.

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