Dietary Approaches and Health Outcomes

Dietary Approaches and Health Outcomes

Welcome to the Dietary Approaches and Health Outcomes Project

The public is bombarded with conflicting nutrition information, especially about what foods to eat or which diets to follow. While some diets are beneficial for individuals with a specific health condition, their health benefits for healthy individuals may not be the same. Yet, the strength and availability of evidence to substantiate those statements remain a question. 

The Evidence Analysis Center (EAC) will conduct a systematic review on several popular diets to examine their health effects among healthy adults to provide more concrete evidence for RDNs and their clients.

Scoping Review

The EAC conducted a scoping review of systematic reviews (SRs) to identify and characterize studies examining diet or fasting [intermittent energy restriction (IER)] interventions among adults who are healthy or who may have chronic disease. While analyzing this evidence there were a few issues that stood out: 

  • Variation in definition of the diets: Inconsistencies in diet terms and definitions include wide variations in CHO content and other macronutrient proportions. 
  • Variation in the comparator diets: Similar heterogeneity was observed for the comparator diets. Over half of the SRs did not specify diet controls or comparators of interest or accepted any diet comparators. 
  • Energy restriction:  Weight management was a primary purpose in 53 SRs, but less than half of these specified an energy restriction requirement for the diet intervention.
  • Focus on single macronutrient modification: Most SRs evaluating macronutrient diets focused on modification of a single macronutrient and only a handful specified the proportion of the other two macronutrients. 
  • Did not stratify data by macronutrient percentage: Many SRs focusing on macronutrient amount modification did not conduct subgroup analysis of varying amounts of macronutrients in the diet. 

The results of the scoping review concluded sufficient evidence to warrant a systematic review. This phase of the project will start summer 2021 and is expected to take 12-14 months to complete. 

Use the links on the left navigation bar to learn more about the scoping review. Expand the section below titled Project Team and Disclosures for a listing of individuals who contributed to the development of the review, disclosures and project funding information.


  • Scoping Review Project Team and Disclosures (2020)

    The following individuals contributed their valuable time and expertise to the scoping review:

    Project Team

    • Tami A. Piemonte, MS, RD, Project Manager
      Independent Contractor, St. Petersburg, FL, USA
    • Feon Cheng, PhD, MPH, RDN, Lead Analyst
      Nutrition Researcher, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chicago, IL, USA
    • Deepa Handu, PhD, RDN, Methodologist
      Senior Scientist, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chicago, IL, USA
    • Michelle Fiander, MA, MLIS, Medical Librarian
      FIander Consulting, Halifax, NS, Canada

    Content Advisors

    • Amy M. Gross, PhD, RD
      Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition Services, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA
    • Lamia Nasrallah, MPH, RD, LDN
      Clinical Dietitian, University of North Carolina Hospitals Medical Center, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

    Financial Contributors

    • Commission on Dietetic Registration
    • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    The views or interests of the funding bodies did not influence the development of this scoping review.

    Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest
    In the interest of full disclosure, the Academy has adopted the policy of revealing relationships workgroup members and content advisors have with companies that sell products or services that are relevant to this topic. Workgroup members and content advisors are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest by completing the Academy Conflict of Interest Form. It should not be assumed that these financial interests will have adverse impact on the content, but they are noted here to fully inform readers:

    • None of the content advisors listed above disclosed potential conflicts of interest.