Thursday, July 17, 2008

One Study, A Myriad of Opinions

The buzz across the internet today is the findings from the paper, Weight loss with a Low Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low fat diet, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The headlines are all over the place regarding what the results mean:

Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets Face Off

Dr. Meir Stampfer, the study's senior author and professor of epidemiology and
nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, told ABC News: "The low-carb diet
was the clear winner in providing the most weight loss."


The Never-Ending Diet Wars: Why Atkins Still Doesn't Beat Low-Fat Diet

"An optimal diet is one that is low in fat (because fat, whatever the type, has
9 calories per gram versus only 4 calories per gram for protein and
carbohydrates). When you eat less fat, you consume fewer calories without
having to eat less food, because the food is less dense in calories, as well as
low in refined carbohydrates."


Healthy Diets Shown to Have Benefit Despite Modest Weight Losses

In a tightly controlled dieting experiment, obese people lost an average of just
6 to 10 pounds over two years. The study, published Thursday in The New
England Journal of Medicine, was supposed to determine which of three types of
diets works best. Instead, the results highlight the difficulty of weight loss
and the fact that most diets do not work well.


More Evidence that Diets Don't Work

After two years of effort the dieters lost, on average, 6 to 10 pounds. The
study, funded in part by the Atkins Research Foundation, seemed designed to
prove that low-carb diets trump low-fat diets. But in the end, all it really
showed is that dieters can put forth tremendous effort and reap very little
benefit.


Diet Study: Hold the Carbs, Not the Fats

Low-carbohydrate and so-called Mediterranean diets may be more effective than
low-fat diets, according to a major new study published in tomorrow’s New
England Journal of Medicine.


Against the Grains

Carbohydrates have taken another hit. A new study finds that a low-carb diet
results in greater weight loss and better cholesterol readings than a low-fat
regimen that promotes a lot of grains and fruits.


Diet Plans Produce Similar Results

New research shows that Mediterranean and low-carb diets are just as good and
just as safe as the low-fat diet often prescribed by doctors, a revelation that
should give people more choices in eating well.


Unrestricted Low-Carb Diet Wins Hands Down

The similar caloric deficit achieved in all diet groups suggests that a
low-carbohydrate, non–restricted-calorie diet may be optimal for those who will
not follow a restricted-calorie dietary regimen.


Atkins Diet is Safe and Far More Effective Than a Low-Fat One, Study Says

The controversial Atkins diet is just as effective and safe as a conventional
low-fat diet, a two-year study has found. Researchers found that
overweight volunteers shed more pounds on the low carbohydrate regime than they
did on an orthodox calorie-controlled diet.


Low-Carb and Mediterranean Diets May Equal Watching Fat Intake

Explain to interested patients that the study suggested low-carbohydrate and
Mediterranean diets could be as effective as the traditionally recommended
low-fat diet for weight loss.


It's amusing that each of the above headlines are all reporting on the same study!

Later today, in another post, we'll set aside the headlines and simply look at the study itself and the results.

4 comments:

  1. Charlie9:08 AM

    The Never-Ending Diet Wars: Why Atkins Still Doesn't Beat Low-Fat Diet


    "An optimal diet is one that is low in fat (because fat, whatever the type, has
    9 calories per gram versus only 4 calories per gram for protein and
    carbohydrates). When you eat less fat, you consume fewer calories without
    having to eat less food, because the food is less dense in calories, as well as
    low in refined carbohydrates."

    Why did Newsweek even allow that to be published? It wasn't even a look at the study and its findings, but one long promotion for Ornish, his theories and his book!

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  2. Anonymous9:47 AM

    The Ornish commentary was rather humorous. He didn't like the study because of the Arkins funding, but then touted all the studies that he funded as being unbiased.

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  3. From Ornish's piece:

    I'm also very skeptical of the quality of data in this study. For example, the investigators reported that those on the "low-fat" diet consumed 200 fewer calories per day—or 10,000 fewer calories per year—than those on the Mediterranean diet, yet people lost more weight on the Mediterranean diet. That's physiologically impossible.

    Wow. Instead of changing his mind to fit the data, he declares the data "impossible."

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  4. I am always amazed at how strongly people cling to the concept that, if we consume less fat, we will consume less calories overall.

    I currently eat high-fat, low-carb.. without a concious effort, I eat about 300 calories less per day than when I was making a VERY concious effort to reign in calories and stick to a lowfat diet, because I was continuously hungry.

    ReplyDelete