Atkins or the Zone? Either diet works so pick one and stick to it

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Researchers from Canada conducted a meta-analysis in which they compared the effectiveness of several trademarked weight loss programs and concluded that due to the similarity of outcome, dieters should select their battle plan according to personal taste.

The study analyzed 59 studies with data from 49 trials involving 7,286 dieters whose median age was 46 and median weight was 207.5 lbs.

Researchers limited their material to medical literature on experiments in which participants with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater followed at will a trademarked diet for at least three months.

While all diets were superior to not dieting, and low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets indicated to be the most effective, weight loss outcomes between individual trademarked diets were minute.

For example, a six-month follow-up showed that followers of the Atkins diet lost 3.8 lbs. more than Zone dieters.

"Although statistical differences existed among several of the diets, the differences were small and unlikely to be important to those seeking weight loss," the authors wrote in a response to the aforementioned finding, clearly unimpressed by a difference that is not significant in light of the BMIs of participants involved.

The study by Bradley C. Johnston, Ph.D., of the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute in Toronto and McMaster University in Ontario, and his colleagues was met with a scathing editorial by Linda Van Horn, Ph.D., R.D., of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association along with the study.

"Overall, the findings from the study by Johnston et al, along with other recent data, underscore the importance of effective diet and lifestyle interventions that promote behavioral changes to support adherence to a calorie-restricted, nutrient-dense diet that ultimately accomplishes weight loss," writes Dr. Van Horn. "Choosing the best diet suited to an individual's food preferences may help foster adherence, but beyond weight loss, diet quality including micronutrient composition may further benefit longevity."

Dr. Johnston and his colleagues plan further studies to examine the effectiveness of switching between diets in the interest of improving quality of life for dieters.


Videos

Photos