Many Dieters 'Finish Up Heavier' *
Dieting is unlikely to lead to long-term weight loss and may put a person's health at risk, a study says.
US researchers found people typically lose between 5% and 10% of their weight during the first six months of a diet.
But the review of 31 previous studies, by the University of California, said within five years, up to two-thirds put more weight on than they had lost.
Losing and gaining weight is linked to heart disease and stroke, the American Psychologist journal reported.
“Keeping weight off is a life-long challenge.” Dr Ian Campbell, of Weight Concern
Lead researcher Traci Mann said: “We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more.”
“Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people. We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all. Their weight would have been pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear of losing weight and gaining it all back.”
And she added some diet studies relied on participants to report their weight rather than having it measured by an impartial source while others had low follow-up rates which made their results unrepresentative.
She said this might make diets seem more effective than they really were as those who gained weight might be less likely to take part in the follow-ups.
In one study, 50% of dieters weighed more than 4.99kg (11 lbs) over their starting weight five years after the diet.
The study did not name any diets in particular, but looked at a broad spectrum of approaches.
Professor Mann said in her opinion eating in moderation was a good idea for everybody as was regular exercise.
Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of Weight Concern, said too many people approached dieting as a short-term measure.
“Keeping weight off is a life-long challenge. It is just like heart disease or mental health problems, if you stop taking your medicine you can get worse. People who are overweight often don't have a balanced lifestyle and after losing weight too many stop keeping active or eating healthily.”
* http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6540493.stm"http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6540493.stm 10 Apr 2007
http://www.upi.com/Consumer_Health_Daily/Rep...ieting_a_health_gamble/"Eat To Live: Yo-Yo Dieting a Health Gamble
Published: April 11, 2007 at 1:11 AM
By JULIA WATSON UPI Food Writer
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2007 (UPI) --
How many of us who are overweight or just looking to fit into some favorite clothes have endured a miserable diet only to find, several months later, that we are heavier than we were when we began?
Inside of five years, two-thirds of dieters will gain back more weight than they had carried when they started dieting, a University of California review of 31 studies found. The diets initially worked: In the first six months of a long-term regimen, the average person will generally lose somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent of his or her weight.
But such yo-yo dieting can do damage to your health, experts say. The study in American Psychologist has linked this behavior to heart disease and stroke, brought on by the stress dieting this way can cause to the body.
In one of the studies the researchers reviewed, half of the dieters had put back more than 11 pounds on top of their original pre-diet weight five years after completing a regimen.
It just confirms further the best way to keep a good weight is to eat moderate amounts of fresh foods, avoiding processed and ready meals as much as possible and exercise regularly. But that seems to be our least favorite advice.
No particular diets are mentioned in the research. But you may remember the "grapefruit diet," when people believed eating the citrus fruit before meals would somehow burn up your fat.
Another study published this week reveals the serious benefit of grapefruit and other fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C may be nullified by fat in the stomach.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, is valuable for good general health. But it is also thought to have an effect in preventing stomach cancer.
The nitrate in our saliva and our diet may be responsible for activating gastric cancer. Apparently, Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) can render benign the cancer-causing compounds that are produced when food and saliva get churned up with stomach acid.
Not, however, if there is a lot of fat in the stomach, researchers at the University of Glasgow said.
People regularly eating fatty meals not only gain weight, but they are having an effect upon the environment inside their stomachs.
Again, the message is, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables -- the prime source for vitamin C -- exercise well and keep off fatty foods.
Eating Less, Little Exercise Can Work*
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May. 11 (UPI) -- University of Alabama researchers found reducing calories is an effective way to keep weight off, especially if it is difficult to find time to exercise.
In the study, published in the May issue of Obesity, the researchers report that 80 percent of EatRight participants -- a University of Alabama at Birmingham program to lose weight -- maintain their weight loss after two years. Most do it primarily by sticking to a low-calorie, low-energy-density diet, according to Tiffany Cox, program coordinator for the EatRight follow-up study.
Researchers followed 89 former EatRight participants for two years. The 80 percent who had successfully maintained their weight loss consumed fewer calories than those who gained weight and tended to eat a diet consisting of low-energy-density foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A low-energy-density diet means an individual can eat more yet take in fewer calories than with high-energy-density foods, according to Cox.
"This calorie control led to successful weight maintenance despite the fact that these individuals did not meet recommended exercise levels," Dr. Jamy Ard, director of EatRight Weight Management Services, said in a statement.
What did you think of this review?