Diet Fads Come and Go
Dieting is a multibillion dollar industry, which leaves the question about which diets actually work and the answer is: whichever one you can stick with, according to a new analysis of 48 trials involving nearly 7,300 overweight and obese adults.
The findings, described in the Journal of the American Medical Association, show that there’s relatively little difference in the effectiveness of various low-fat or low-carb diets, including the branded ones, from Atkins to Zone.
“Our findings should be reassuring to clinicians and the public that there is no need for a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting because many different diets appear to offer considerable weight-loss benefits,” the study authors wrote.
Diet fads come and go, each claiming to tap into some secret advantage that previous weight-loss strategies did not. But it’s difficult to tell which diets are actually most effective — and that’s crucial information for overweight people.
To provide some data-driven answers, a team led by Bradley Johnston of the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute in Toronto, Canada examined 59 papers involving 48 randomized trials and sized up the examined diets’ average weight loss.
Low-carbohydrate diets edged out the low-fat diets. Low-carb diets were linked to 19.25 pounds of lost weight at 6 months, and 15.98 pounds at 12 months. The low-fat diets were close behind, with 17.61 pounds lost in six months and 16.03 pounds at the one-year mark.