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NEJM: Low-fat diets not best for weight loss: New study by Ben-Gurion U. of the Negev
Date:7/16/2008

/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 patien
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Contact: Andrew Lavin
alc@alavin.com
516-353-2505
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

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