The DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) is usually prescribed for adults to help them control their high blood pressure. But a study finds that the eating program may also help teen girls gain less weight.

In the “Best Diets Overall” category, the Dash came in first, with three tying for second: the Mediterranean Diet, the TLC Diet and Weight Watchers.

The diet, which emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy foods, lean proteins, nuts and limited amounts of fats and sweets, is said to lower blood pressure in adults even without reducing salt intake.

Certain foods seemed to affect body mass index . Subjects who ate two or more servings of fruit per day had the smallest rise in body mass index  over the study period, and also the lowest body mass index  scores at the end of the study.

“This study is important,” said senior author Lynn Moore of Boston University Medical Center in a news release, “because it shows that a very simple dietary message focused primarily on increasing intakes of fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products has the potential to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity in adolescent girls.”

The study was released Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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