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Tags: fad | diets | pills | work | ineffective | weight | loss

Study: Fad Diets, Pills Don’t Work

Thursday, 12 April 2012 03:16 PM EDT

Fad diets and over-the-counter pills don’t work, but more traditional ways to lose weight – such as eating less fat and exercising more often -- are more effective, according to a new study.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who analyzed the various strategies obese dieters sought to lose weight and found the ones who followed an “eat less, move more” approach had the greatest success.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, explode two key myths: Obese people can’t lose weight and a magic-bullet pill or diet will provide the best results.
"Despite popular perception that obese people are unable to lose weight, a substantial number of obese participants in our study did report successful weight loss, suggesting that some obese U.S. adults can and do lose weight," said lead researcher Dr. Jacinda M. Nicklas. "Interestingly…adults who said they used diet products were actually associated with being less likely to achieve at least 10 percent weight loss."
For the study, investigators analyzed data from the 2001-2006 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, which collects demographic and health information from U.S. adults. They tracked more than 4,000 obese adults – 63 percent of whom tried to lose weight in the last year.
Researchers found study participants were more likely to lose at least 5 percent of body weight by eating less fat, exercising more and using prescription medications. Those who lost at least 10 percent were also more likely to have joined a weight-loss program.
Liquid diets, nonprescription diet pills and popular diets were less successful; those who reported losing more than 10 percent body weight were less likely to report eating diet foods and products.
"These results tell us that Americans use many weight loss strategies that are not associated with significant weight loss, including nonprescription weight loss medications,” said Nicklas. “Public health efforts directing Americans to adopt more proven methods may be warranted."
About a third of Americans are now obese, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

© HealthDay

Analysis finds the most common weight-loss advice - move more, eat less - is the best.
Thursday, 12 April 2012 03:16 PM
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