(HealthDay News) — Current evidence does not show any difference between men and women with regard to which strategies are most effective in achieving weight loss, according to research published in Obesity Reviews.

Rebecca L. Williams, of the University of Newcastle in Callaghan, Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to examine whether the effectiveness of weight loss interventions differs according to sex. A total of 49 randomized controlled trials were included in the final meta-analysis.

“Although published literature on weight loss interventions is vast, there is still no consensus on which lifestyle interventions are best for weight loss, particularly for men or women. Therefore, the aim of this review was to determine whether the effectiveness of particular weight loss interventions differs between men and women, and if they do, which are more effective for men or for women,” they wrote.

The researchers found that 11 studies directly comparing weight loss in men and women showed a significant difference according to sex. Men lost more weight than women in 10 of the studies, but women also lost a significant amount of weight. 

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Analysis of effect sizes showed small differences in weight loss that favored men for both diet as well as diet and exercise interventions. But, the evidence does not indicate that weight loss strategies should differ according to sex.

“Current evidence supports moderate energy restriction in combination with exercise for weight loss in both men and women,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Williams RL et al. Obes Rev. 2014;doi:10.1111/obr.12241.