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A Wide Variety of Different Diets are Adopted After Symptom Onset for Multiple Sclerosis




Russell, Rebecca D
Langer-Gould, Annette
Gonzales, Edlin
Smith, Jessica B
Brennan, Vanessa
Pereira, Gavin
Lucas, Robyn
Begley, Andrea
Black, Lucinda

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S Karger AG


Background/Aims: Little is known about the dietary changes made by people with multiple sclerosis (MS). We aimed to describe the types of dietary regimens adopted after symptom onset, and to identify potential predictors of adopting a specific, formal diet. Methods: We used data from the 2011-2015 MS Sunshine Study, a multi-ethnic matched case-control study in Southern California exploring environmental risk factors for MS. A total of 565 cases had data for diets and potential predictors (sex, age at symptom onset, education, race, BMI, smoking) of adopting a specific diet. We described the number and proportion (%) of participants who adopted a specified dietary regimen for nutrition and weight loss purposes after symptom onset, and the type of diet followed. Using logistic regression we investigated predictors of adopting a specific diet after symptom onset. Results: Approximately 8% (n = 46) of participants reported adopting a specific diet after symptom onset. Among those who adopted a specific diet, the most common diets were Weight Watchers (35%, n = 16) and Paleo (11%, n = 5), with a wide variety of other diets adopted by individual participants. Conclusions: Being female, and obese compared with healthy weight/underweight were significant independent predictors of changing to a specific, formal diet after symptom onset. There was no consistency in the type of diet adopted, and some diets were restrictive of potentially important food groups. Improved nutrition education may be warranted to help people with MS make healthy and lasting dietary choices.





Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism


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