A significant increase in food availability has been implicated in the worldwide obesity epidemic, and there is significant interest in understanding if specific foods may contribute to weight gain or aid in weight loss. Many foods have been studied in controlled laboratory studies or short-term studies, and these findings are often the basis for food-based public health recommendations to reduce or prevent obesity. Unfortunately, often these findings are not applicable to free-living settings where many interacting factors influence energy balance and body weight. Therefore, a proposed set of evidence criteria for making a food-based public health recommendation to reduce or prevent obesity is outlined and discussed herein, to serve as a basis for future committee or panel discussion and formalization. Using these criteria as a basis for making strong evidence-based recommendations will improve the state of science and policy in this area.
- energy balance