Low-Fat Diets No Better for Long-Term Weight Loss

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A low-fat diet does not appear to be superior to other diets for long-term weight loss.
A low-fat diet does not appear to be superior to other diets for long-term weight loss.

(HealthDay News) — Low-fat diets are no more effective than other types of diets for long-term weight loss, according to a review published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Deirdre Tobias, ScD, an associate epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues looked at 53 published studies involving 68 128 adults. The low-fat diets in the studies ranged from very low-fat, 10% or less of calories from fat, to more moderate plans that allowed 30% or less of calories from fat.

Participants on low-fat diets did lose weight. But, those on low-carbohydrate diets were slightly more than 2 lb lighter than those on low-fat diets after a follow-up of at least 1 year. The average weight loss across all groups was 6 lb, the researchers found.

"We found that low-fat diets were not more effective than higher-fat diets for long-term weight loss," Dr Tobias told HealthDay. The key to success seems to have more to do with adherence than a specific weight-loss plan. 

"Being able to stick to a diet in the long term will probably predict whether or not a diet is successful for weight loss," Tobias said.

Reference

  1. Tobias DK, Chen M, Manson JE, Ludwig DS, Willett W, Hu FB. Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015;doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00367-8.
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