Semester of Graduation

Summer 2022


Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Evidence-based diet strategies lead to weight loss for some, while for others, the same diet approach could result in trivial weight loss or even in weight gain. This prompts the underlying research question: what factors predict that a given diet strategy will be efficacious for some, but not for others? This research was a secondary analysis of clinical weight loss studies to determine which factors influence an individual’s weight loss success for three diet intervention strategies: low-carbohydrate, low-fat, and low-calorie. A combination of physiological, psychological, behavioral, and dietary factors was evaluated for each diet study. Multiple linear regression and logistic regression models were used to estimate significance of variables and to what extent they influence weight loss. For the low-carbohydrate group, race, body fat percentage, and fasting glucose at baseline were the most significant predictors (p < 0.05). For the low-fat group, income, leptin, education, low-density lipoprotein, and dietary adherence at baseline were the most significant predictors (p < 0.05). For the low-calorie group, age, eating behavior, total sugar consumption, and leptin at baseline (p < 0.05) were the most significant predictors. Completion status was the most important predictor of weight loss regardless of diet type. Understanding which of these individual physiological, behavioral, and environmental factors interact with specific dietary strategies to influence weight loss can be used to inform personalized approaches to diet interventions that are more likely to lead to successful weight loss and reduction of cardiometabolic disease risk.



Committee Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Gollub