Implementing a Low-Fat Eating Plan in the Women's Intervention Nutrition Study

M. Katherine Hoy, Barbara L. Winters, Rowan T. Chlebowski, Constantina Papoutsakis, Alice Shapiro, Michele P. Lubin, Cynthia A. Thomson, Mary B. Grosvenor, Trisha Copeland, Elyse Falk, Kristina Day, George L. Blackburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The Women's Intervention Nutrition Study is a randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate if a lifestyle intervention targeting fat intake reduction influences breast cancer recurrence in women with early stage, resected disease receiving conventional cancer management. This report details the concept, content, and implementation of the low-fat eating plan used in the dietary intervention group of this trial. Intervention group participants were given a daily fat gram goal. The intervention was delivered by centrally trained, registered dietitians who applied behavioral, cognitive, and motivational counseling techniques. The low-fat eating plan was implemented in an intensive phase with eight biweekly (up to Month 4), individual counseling sessions followed by a maintenance phase (Month 5 up to and including Year 5) with registered dietitian visits every 3 months and optional monthly group sessions. Self-monitoring (daily fat gram counting and recording), goal setting, and motivational interviewing strategies were key components. Dietary fat intake was equivalent at baseline and consistently lower in the intervention compared with the control group at all time points (percent eneregy from fat at 60 months 23.2%±8.4% vs 31.2%±8.9%, respectively, P<0.0001) and was associated with mean 6.1 lb mean weight difference between groups (P=0.005) at 5 years (baseline and 5 years, respectively: control 160.0±35.0 and 161.7±32.8 lb; intervention 160.2±35.1 and 155.6±32.1 lb). Together with previously reported efficacy results, this information suggests that a lifestyle intervention that reduces dietary fat intake and is associated with modest weight loss may favorably influence breast cancer recurrence. The Women's Intervention Nutrition Study low-fat eating plan can serve as a model for implementing such a long-term dietary intervention in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-696
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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