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Low-Fat Diets Not as Effective for Weight Loss Long-Term, New Study Finds

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By    |   Friday, 30 Oct 2015 03:07 PM

Low-fat diets are not more effective at keeping the pounds off as other diets, particularly when it comes to long-term weight loss, a new study has determined after looking at what has become a controversial subject.

For years, the medical field has debated the effects of a low-fat diet, and a new study from researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health confirmed what many suspected. Their results were published in "The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology" this week.

"Despite the pervasive dogma that one needs to cut fat from their diet in order to lose weight, the existing scientific evidence does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss," BWH's Deirdre Tobias, ScD, said on Harvard's website. " We need to look beyond the ratios of calories from fat, carbs, and protein to a discussion of healthy eating patterns, whole foods, and portion sizes. Finding new ways to improve diet adherence for the long-term and preventing weight gain in the first place are important strategies for maintaining a healthy weight."

The researchers considered 53 studies done comparing the long-term effects of low-fat and higher-fat diets. On average, they found that those participating in the diets lost and kept off six pounds for more than one year.

"Compared with low-fat diets, participants in low-carbohydrate weight loss interventions were about two and a half pounds lighter after follow-up of at least one year," the Harvard site said. "Researchers also report that low-fat diets led to a greater weight loss only when compared to ‘usual diet’ in which participants did not change their eating habits."

Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, told WebMD that the research supports what has been found in other studies.

"The conclusion from this, and similar studies, is that weight loss is not a result of limiting one calorie nutrient over another, and that achieving weight loss is likely a matter of calorie control, in a manner that works for the individual," she said. 

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Low-fat diets are not more effective at keeping the pounds off as other diets, particularly when it comes to long-term weight loss, a new study has determined after looking at what has become a controversial subject.
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2015-07-30
Friday, 30 Oct 2015 03:07 PM
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