Topic: Obesity treatment and dietary patterns

Randomized, controlled trial comparing MyPlate adherence versus Calorie Counting to help low-income patients lose excess central body fat. Both approaches yielded decreased waist circumference at 12 months follow-up. Self-reported satiety measures also improved in both conditions. We concluded that adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as summarized by was as effective in helping low-income patients lose excess body fat as the more traditional calorie restriction approach.

Research Team:
William McCarthy, PhD
Lillian Gelberg, MD
Thomas Belin, PhD

Community Partners: The Children’s Clinic of Long Beach

Study Population: Predominantly Latina patients of local community health center wanting to lose excess body fat

Funding Source: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; Grant # CER-1306-01159


  • Cheney AM, McCarthy WJ, Pozar M, Reaves C, Ortiz G, Lopez D, Saldivar PA, Gelberg L. “Ancestral recipes”: a mixed-methods analysis of MyPlate-based recipe dissemination for Latinos in rural communities. BMC Public Health. 2023; 23(1):216. PMCID: PMC9889948.
  • Gelberg L, Rico MW, Herman DR, Belin TR, Chandler M, Ramirez E, Love S, McCarthy MJ. Comparative effectiveness trial comparing MyPlate to calorie counting for mostly low-income Latino primary care patients of a federally qualified community health center: study design, baseline characteristics. BMC Public Health. 2019; 19,990.