From MedPage Today:
When it comes to choosing among popular diets, patients might as well choose the one they like. The diets all result in modest weight loss and their differences generally disappear at 12 months, scientists said.
The meta-analysis of 121 randomized clinical trials comparing 14 popular diets found that the top three in terms of mean weight loss and blood pressure reductions at 6 months were Atkins (5.5 kg, 5.1 mm Hg systolic); Zone (4.1 kg, 3.5 mm Hg); and DASH (3.6 kg, 4.7 mm Hg), reported Bradley Johnston, PhD, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues.
However, as shown in the study online in The BMJ, the other popular diets were associated with some degree of weight loss and blood pressure improvement at 6 months, on the order of 2-3 kg for body weight and 3-4 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure.
By 12 months, the effects had diminished to the degree that the differences between diets were negligible, the team said.
None of the popular diets were associated with significant reductions in lipids, with the notable exception of the Mediterranean diet, for which there was a mean 4.59 mg/dL reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol at 6 months. The Mediterranean diet was also notable in that this effect did not diminish at 12 months, the researchers said.
Diets don’t work if you don’t follow them. Compliance drops off dramatically after 6-12 months. People go back to their old ways of eating and regain the last weight.
Steve Parker, M.D.
PS: The Advanced Mediterranean Diet is not popular. But if you don’t follow it, you’ll gain back the lost weight.