Navigation Links
NEJM: Low-fat diets not best for weight loss: New study by Ben-Gurion U. of the Negev

NEW YORK, July 14, 2008 A two-year study led by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) reveals that low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets may be just as safe and effective in achieving weight loss as the standard, medically prescribed low-fat diet, according to a new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was conducted by BGU and the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel, in collaboration with Harvard University, The University of Leipzig, Germany and the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

In the two-year study, 322 moderately obese people were intensively monitored and were randomly assigned one of three diets: a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet; a Mediterranean calorie-restricted diet with the highest level of dietary fiber and monounsaturated/saturated fat; or a low-carbohydrate diet with the least amount of carbohydrates, highest fat, protein, and dietary cholesterol. The low-carb dieters had no caloric intake restrictions.

Although participants actually decreased their total daily calories consumed by a similar amount, net weight loss from the low-fat diet after two years was only 6.5 lbs. (2.9 kg) compared to 10 lbs. (4.4 kg) on the Mediterranean diet, and 10.3 lbs. (4.7 kg) on the low-carbohydrate diet. "These weight reduction rates are comparable to results from physician-prescribed weight loss medications," explains Dr. Iris Shai, the lead researcher.

The low-fat diet reduced the total cholesterol to HDL ratio by only 12 percent, while the low-carbohydrate diet improved the same ratio by 20 percent. Lipids improved the most in the low-carbohydrate, with a 20% increase in the HDL ("good") cholesterol and, 14% decrease in triglycerides. In all three diets, inflammatory and liver function biomarkers was equally improved. However, among diabetic participants, the standard low-fat diet actually increased the fasting glucose levels by 12mg/dL, while the Mediterranean diet induced a decrease in fasting glucose levels by 33mg/dL.

In addition to the findings, this two-year study is also significant because of the relatively large number of participants coupled with a low drop-out rate 95 percent were in the study after one year and 85 percent were still participating after the second.

Dr. Iris Shai is a researcher at the S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition in the Department of Epidemiology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She conceived the study with Dr. Stampfer, the senior author, while she was a Fulbright fellow at Harvard School of Public Health and Channing Laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts.

The trial conducted at the Nuclear Research Center in Israel involved unparalleled and significant cooperation between staff, participants and their spouses. The cafeterias in the workplace went through a "health revolution," integrating the workplace cafeteria managers with clinical support and a nutritional advisor, in order to provide healthy food dishes that would fit each one of the dietary arms, as labeled with specific colors every day. Along with careful workplace nutritional counseling, spouses of the trial participants were educated on how to keep the specific assigned diet strategy at home. The participants also completed electronic questionnaires, developed specifically for the study.

"The Nuclear Research Center Dimona highly values health promotion within the workplace," said Dr. Dan Schwarzfuchs, director of the clinical department at the facility. "This is why it supported performance of such a nutritional study and enabled the outstanding adherence rate of the DIRECT participants."

"Clearly, there is not one diet that is ideal for everyone," Shai concludes. "We believe that this study will open clinical medicine to considering low-carb and Mediterranean diets as safe effective alternatives for patients, based on personal preference and the medical goals set for such intervention. Furthermore, the improvement in levels of some biomarkers continued until the 24-month point, although maximum weight loss was achieved by 6 months. This suggests that healthy diet has beneficial effects beyond weight loss."


Contact: Andrew Lavin
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Related medicine news :

1. Media availability: low-fat dietary pattern may lower risk of ovarian cancer
2. Low-Carb Diets Better Than Low-Fat Diets at Preventing Diabetes
3. The Low-Fat Diet is Fueling Our Rate of Obesity, Says Researcher Phoenix Gilman
4. Low-Fat Dairy Reduces High Blood Pressure Risk
5. Updates Timing of Third Quarter 2007 Earnings Conference Call
6. Cancer risks for urban African-American women grow, healthy diets more difficult to maintain
7. Diets May Raise Cancer Risk for Poor, Urban Women
8. Far flung food: Europes distant diets
9. Diabetes Group Backs Low-Carb Diets
10. Nations Leading Dialysis Provider - DaVita - Partners with eDiets(R) to Launch One-of-a-Kind Diet Helper Online Nutrition and Meal Planning Tool for Late-Stage Kidney Disease Patients and Caregivers
11., Inc. Announces Resignation of Robert Hamilton, Chief Financial Officer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, 2015—Since the start ... scientific research and discoveries, leading us to better understand the disease’s behavior. Globally, ... affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform edition of “World AIDS Day” provides insight on ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... amputations in the United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance ... behaviors) are often catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. The ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates mobile imaging results ... subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they are demonstrating new ... America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, Illinois, at Booth ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... MA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, ... release of Clarity, the latest addition to the devices for sale in the United ... 755 nm Alexandrite and long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... PartnerTech , a leader ... leadership since 2008. Gary Bruce, President of PartnerTech North America, currently serves as ... significant amount of time in Sweden since joining PartnerTech based in Malmo, Sweden. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015 Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), ... chronic pain, announced today that the company will present at ... December 1-3 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in ... CEO of Relmada Therapeutics, will present on Thursday, December 3, ... . Please register at least 10 minutes prior ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: ... specializing in oncology, today announced that it has reached ... pivotal global Phase 3 clinical trial of aldoxorubicin in ... originally estimated to be completed in Q1 2016. The Phase ... under a Special Protocol Assessment from the FDA at ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  Today, ... the launch of CareFront, a first-of-its-kind population health ... diagnosed with cancer. Designed to be built into ... cancer patients with resources for their care and ... program also offers tools to help patients understand ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: