Effects of the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet on blood pressure, overweight and obesity in adolescents: A systematic review

Published:September 24, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.09.003


      Background & aims

      The high prevalence of overweight/obesity, and arterial hypertension (AH) in adolescence is a public health problem worldwide. The aim of the article is to perform a systematic review looking to verify the effects of DASH diet on overweight/obesity and blood pressure (BP) in adolescents.


      Systematic search of the literature conducted until March 2018. Five databases were investigated. We follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes (PRISMA) Statement. The systematic review protocol was recorded in PROSPERO (CRD42016046968). Two reviewers examined 1005 abstracts. The risk of bias was assessed using STROBE or CONSORT.


      Seven studies were eligible, three cross-sectional, two cohort and two randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Cross-sectional study found that a higher DASH score was associated with decreased body composition measurements; the other two did not find associations between DASH scores, body weight, and BP. Cohort studies found that the DASH diet resulted in lower levels of diastolic BP and lower body mass index gain over 10 years. One RCT showed that the DASH diet proved to be effective in improving systolic BP and another RCT observed a decrease in the prevalence of AH.


      The DASH diet may have beneficial effects on the alterations of BP, overweight and obesity in adolescence. However, adherence to this dietary pattern is still low. It is believed that, in the future, dietary interventions based on DASH may be part of public policies to combat AH and overweight/obesity, since all age groups of the population can adopt this dietary pattern.


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