Thursday, 19 December 2013

Low-fat diets for obesity

In the review of studies of participants who fulfilled the following criteria: 1) they were randomised controlled clinical trials of low-fat diets versus other weight-reducing diets, 2) the primary purpose of the study was weight loss, 3) participants were followed for at least six months, 4) the study participants were adults (18 years or older) who were overweight or obese (BMI >25 kg/m2) at baseline. Studies including pregnant women or patients with serious medical conditions were excluded. Two people independently applied the inclusion criteria to the studies identified. Disagreement was resolved by discussion or by intervention of a third party, conducted by University of Teesside (1) focused primarily on participants who were overweight or clinically obese and were dieting for the purpose of weight reduction. Since we were particularly interested in the ability of participants to sustain weight loss over a longer period of time, we focused on studies of 'free living' men and women who were given dietary advice rather than provision of food or money to purchase food. The review suggests that fat-restricted diets are no better than calorie restricted diets in achieving long term weight loss in overweight or obese people. Overall, participants lost slightly more weight on the control diets but this was not significantly different from the weight loss achieved through dietary fat restriction and was so small as to be clinically insignificant.

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(1) "WITHDRAWN: Advice on low-fat diets for obesity" by Summerbell CD, Cameron C, Glasziou PP., posted in PubMed(1)

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