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A Mediterranean and low‐fat dietary intervention in non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease patients: Exploring participant experience and perceptions about dietary change

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posted on 2023-01-20, 15:03 authored by Elena S. George, Adrienne K Forsyth, Anjana Reddy, Catherine Itsiopoulos, Stuart K. Roberts, Amanda J. Nicoll, Marno C. Ryan, Audrey TierneyAudrey Tierney

Background: A Mediterranean diet (MD) appears to be beneficial in non‐ alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients in Mediterranean countries; however, the acceptability of a MD in non‐Mediterranean populations has not been thoroughly explored. The present study aimed to explore the acceptability through understanding the barriers and enablers of the MD and low‐fat diet (LFD) interventions as perceived by participating Australian adults from multicultural backgrounds with NAFLD. 

Methods: Semi‐structured telephone interviews were performed with 23 NAFLD trial participants at the end of a 12‐week dietary intervention in a multicentre, parallel, randomised clinical trial. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. 

Results: Participants reported that they enjoyed taking part in the MD and LFD interventions and perceived that they had positive health benefits from their participation. Compared with the LFD, the MD group placed greater emphasis on enjoyment and intention to maintain dietary changes. Novelty, convenience and the ability to swap food/meals were key enablers for the successful implementation for both of the dietary interventions. Flavour and enjoyment of food, expressed more prominently by MD intervention participants, were fundamental components of the diets with regard to reported adherence and intention to maintain dietary change.

Conclusions: Participants randomised to the MD reported greater acceptability of the diet than those randomised to the LFD, predominantly related to perceived novelty and palatability of the diet. 



Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics


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