Fat Loss Fact: Long-term Diet Study Shows Caloric Balance Key Factor In Weight Loss

March 17th, 2009
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Fat Loss Fact: Long-term Diet Study Shows Caloric Balance Key Factor In Weight Loss

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A 2-year study of 811 overweight adults assigned to one of four diets has found that the proportions of macronutrients did not affect how much weight they lost. The targeted percentages of calories derived from fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the four diets were 20/15/65, 20/25/55, 40/15/45, and 40/25/35, respectively. The diets consisted of similar foods and met guidelines for cardiovascular health. The participants were offered group and individual instructional sessions.

Among the 80% of participants who completed the trial, the average weight loss was 4 kg (about 9 pounds) and the results were similar in those who were assigned to a diet with 20% or 40% fat; 15% or 25% protein; and 65% or 35% carbohydrates. Satiety, hunger, satisfaction with the diet, and attendance at group sessions were similar for all diets. The diets also improved lipid-related risk factors and fasting insulin levels. The authors concluded:

**Reduced-calorie diets will result in clinically meaningful weight loss regardless of which macronutrients they emphasize.

**A range of fat, protein, and carbohydrate compositions can have beneficial effects on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

**Such diets can be tailored to individual patients based on personal and cultural preferences and may therefore have the best chance for long-term success.

[Sacks FM and others. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. New England Journal of Medicine 360:859-873, 2009] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19246357

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