How similar are the effects among differing diet programs for obesity?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Dansinger and colleagues compared the Zone, Ornish, and Atkins diets to each other and to a typical balanced, calorie-restricted (Weight Watchers) diet and found them all to have a similar impact on weight. [133] The Ornish diet (a very ̶ low-fat diet) and the Atkins diet had the poorest compliance rates. At 1 year, the researchers observed no significant differences in weight loss among the 4 diets. Compliance and caloric deficits were more important predictors of weight loss and improvement in cardiovascular risk surrogates than was specific dietary composition.

A 2-year study found low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets to be equally efficacious in inducing weight loss. However, the study also found that a low-carbohydrate diet is associated with favorable changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors. [131] Nevertheless, better achievement of sustained weight loss is seen with low-fat diets than with low-carbohydrate diets, probably because of generally higher compliance.


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