Changes in body composition following a dietary and lifestyle intervention trial: The postmenopausal health study Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To examine whether dietary changes and the consumption of dairy products fortified with calcium and vitamin D3 versus the use of a calcium supplement alone could have any effect on anthropometric and body composition indices of postmenopausal women over a 12-month period. METHODS: 101 healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to a dietary intervention group (DG: n=39), receiving approximately 1200 mg of calcium and 7.5 microg of vitamin D3 per day via fortified dairy products and attending biweekly dietary and lifestyle intervention sessions; a calcium supplemented group (CaG: n=26) receiving a total of 1200 mg calcium per day; and a control group who continued with their usual diet (CG: n=36). Dietary, physical activity, anthropometric, body composition and distribution (based on DXA) data were collected at baseline and after 12 months of intervention. RESULTS: No significant differences were observed in the mean 12-month changes in certain anthropometric (i.e. weight, BMI) and DXA (i.e. total body fat and lean mass) indices between groups. However, the DG was found to have a lower decrease in mid-arm muscle circumference (P<0.001) and a lower increase in the sum of skinfolds' thickness (P=0.042) compared with the CaG and the CG. Furthermore, the DG was also found to have a greater decrease in the percentage of legs' fat mass (P=0.025) and a higher increase in the percentage of legs' lean mass (P=0.012) compared with the two other groups. CONCLUSION: The application of a holistic intervention approach combining nutrition and lifestyle counseling with consumption of fortified dairy products for 12 months was found to have favourable changes in certain anthropometric and body composition indices compared to calcium supplementation alone.


  • Manios, Yannis
  • Moschonis, George
  • Koutsikas, Konstantinos
  • Papoutsou, Stalo
  • Petraki, Ioanna
  • Bellou, Elena
  • Naoumi, Anthi
  • Kostea, Sofia
  • Tanagra, Sofia

publication date

  • January 2009