The Particulars: Little is known how diet quality impacts blood pressure (BP) control. Few studies have compared usual hospital-based nutrition care with clinic-initiated behavioral nutrition interventions among adolescents with high BP.

Data Breakdown: Adolescents with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension were randomized to a DASH diet intervention (DASH) or usual nutrition care (UC) for a study. The DASH group received two counseling sessions with a dietitian expert on the DASH diet, six mailings, and 15 phone calls on behavioral strategies. UC included two sessions with a dietitian. At 6 months follow-up, there were no changes seen in diastolic BP between the DASH and UC groups. However, the DASH group experienced greater changes in systolic BP and daily servings of fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, total fat, and sodium.

Take Home Pearl: A 6-month phone and mail-based behavioral nutrition intervention that emphasizes the DASH diet appears to improve BP and diet quality in adolescents.