With a view to find out the most effective diet for weight loss and understanding cardiovascular risk factors, Dr. Mark Eisenberg, professor of medicine at McGill University and his colleagues reviewed Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers and the Zone.
Last year, the weight loss industry was believed to cost atleast $66 billion. The list also included the Atkins, South Beach and Zone diets. The effectiveness of these diets, however, is not clear according to the scientists.
The results of the interventions made by the companies which were not fully supported by the reviews surprised Eisenberg. The diets do work but are not that effective for weight loss, Eisenberg claims. The journal named ‘Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes’ published by the American Heart Association happened to publish the results of the said study.
10 control trials were conducted within the 12 month study period. When Weight Watchers were compared to usual care, an average 3.5 to 6.0 kilograms of weight loss was observed in Weight Watchers dieters as compared to 0.8 to 5.4 kilograms in usual care. But the weight lost was moderately regained after two years.
Conventional methods to promote weight loss were also included in the usual care. Conventional methods included low-fat diets, behavioural weight loss intervention and nutritional counselling.
Basically, the findings reveal that following weight loss diets could actually have short-term benefits and results, and you may actually experience weight gain following the diet.
The study authors believe that the major factors for obesity include high percentage of caloric intake and availability of fast food and processed foods almost everywhere.
“We’ve seen a lot of public health interventions for smoking cessation over the past many decades and I think that may come over the future decades in nutrition”, said Eisenberg. A more holistic approach is needed to deal with the problem. Doctors and other health professionals can help more other than just these diets, he added.
Hopefully, these new findings may enlighten individuals who tend to try every single weight loss fad that appears in newspapers and magazines, and choose to do it the safer way- by following a healthy diet and lifestyle and by exercising regularly.