Yesterday, we discussed a randomized trial that indicated low-carbohydrate diets were superior to low-fat diets with respect to weight loss efficacy. Today, we may have to take it all back, because a meta-analysis just published in JAMA indicates that the source of the calories may not really matter as far as weight loss is concerned a concept we here at ACSH have endorsed frequently.
Dr. Bradley C. Johnston, of the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, Toronto, and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues analyzed data from 48 randomized trials of named weight-loss programs such as the Atkins and Sears diets. They examined the outcomes in terms of weight loss after 6 and 12 months of follow up.
Compared to no diet program, the largest weight loss at one year was associated with the low carb diets (8.7 kgm, about 19 pounds) but that was not much more than the low fat diets 7.3 kgm or about 16 pounds. In addition, the differences between individual diets were minimal.
The authors concluded Significant weight loss was observed with any low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet. This supports the practice of recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava concurred, saying Perhaps soon we can stop arguing about which diet is the best and focus on helping people stick to whatever diet works best for them. As an accompanying editorial in JAMA notes: A Diet by Any Other Name is Still About Energy !