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UMass Medical School study identifies the best weight-loss plans for heart health
Date:9/30/2007

Over the past three decades, the rising obesity epidemic has been accompanied by a proliferation of weight-loss plans. However, as a new study by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) reveals, these weight-loss plans vary significantly in their ability to positively affect heart health.

In A Dietary Quality Comparison of Popular Weight-Loss Plans, published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, several weight-loss plans significantly outperformed others in their ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, the investigators found that the Ornish, Weight Watchers High Carbohydrate and New Glucose Revolution plans scored highest when measured by the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). Proven to be a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease, the AHEI is a measure that isolates dietary components that are most strongly linked to cardiovascular disease risk reduction.

Obviously, obesity is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, said UMMS Assistant Professor of Medicine Yunsheng Ma, PhD, MPH, one of the studys primary authors. Optimal weight-loss plans should facilitate both weight loss and chronic disease prevention, specifically cardiovascular risk reduction.

Choosing weight-loss plans based on their status on The New York Times bestseller list during the past five years, Dr. Ma and colleagues evaluated the dietary quality of the New Glucose Revolution, Weight Watchers High Carbohydrate and Weight Watchers High Protein, Atkins 100- and 45-gram Carbohydrate, South Beach Phase 2 and Phase 3, The Zone, Ornish and the 2005 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid plans. Weight Watchers and the 2005 USDA Food Guide Pyramid plan were included because they are the largest commercial weight loss plan and the current government recommendation, respectively. Elements used to determine dietary quality included ra
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Contact: Kelly Bishop
kelly.bishop@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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