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Popular Diet Plans Work In The Short Term, But Are Ineffective Over The Long Haul

November 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian review of clinical trials involving four commercial diet plans -- Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and Zone -- that promise not only weight loss but improved cardiovascular health found that all helped dieters lose weight in the short term. However, the trials provided little evidence that the diets worked in the long run, or that they improved heart health. Weight Watchers dieters lost an average 7.7 to 13.2 pounds after a year compared to 1.8 to 11.9 pounds with usual care. But at two years, dieters had regained a lot of the pounds. In a head to head comparison of diets, those on Atkins lost the most, an average 4.6 to 10.3 pounds. The control group lost about 4.85 pounds.
R. Atallah et al. , "Long-Term Effects of 4 Popular Diets on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. ", Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, November 21, 2014, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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