The DASH diet was never intended for teen girls, but that doesn't mean it's ineffective.
Originally created to treat adults with high blood pressure, the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is showing new promise in reducing weight gain in teenage girls. According to USA Today, girls whose diet most resembled DASH showed the smallest increase in body mass index (BMI) over 10 years in a new study.
They also recorded the lowest BMIs during the study's follow-up period.
The diet plan itself essentially cuts out red meat and many forms of carbohydrates, focusing on fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains. According to DashDiet.org, the main focus of the plan is to reduce salt intake, which helps to reduce blood-pressure in older dieters.
The study followed 2,379 girls between the ages of 9 and 10, and tracked them for 10 years, according to the LA Times. While the participants were socioeconomically and geographically mixed, over half the girls in the study were black.
The study was especially important, the LA Times reported, because those who showed the best results, didn't even fulfill all of the DASH requirements. Even those in the 95th percentile had a higher than recommended sugar intake and did not necessarily eat the recommended number of servings of fruit per day, were they actually following the diet.