Posted on Mar 03, 2009, 1 p.m.
By gary clark
The findings of a controlled study of more than 800 overweight adults found that after two years, participants in each of the four diet groups had lost â€“ and regained â€“ the same number of pounds.
The findings of the largest controlled study of weight-loss methods, which were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed a startling conclusion: no matter what type of diet we choose, we will lose weight as long as we are cutting calories from our diets. In the study, more than 800 adults in Boston and Baton Rouge participated. Each was assigned to one of four diets designed to lower caloric intake through a different combination of reducing fat, carbohydrates and/or protein. Each diet cut about 750 calories from the participant's normal diet, with no one eating less than 1,200 calories a day. During the two-year study period, participants also underwent some form of group or individual counseling.
At the end of the two years, each group of dieters had lost and regained approximately the same amount of weight. The findings, researchers say, underscores that it doesn't matter what type of diet is selected, as long as the individual is reducing his or her caloric intake. "It really does cut through the hype," says Dr. Frank M. Sacks, the study's lead author and professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health. "It gives people lots of flexibility to pick a diet that they can stick with. The real question for researchers is what are the biological, psychological or social factors that influence whether a person can stick to any diet," he emphasizes.
News Release: Study zeroes in on calories, not diet, for loss www.nytimes.com February 26, 2009