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Randomised controlled trial and systematic review
Weight-loss diets only work when you follow them
  1. Arya M Sharma
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Arya M Sharma, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Li Ka Shing Building, Room 1-116, 87th Avenue and 112th Street, Edmonton, Canada AB T6G 2E1; amsharm{at}ualberta.ca

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Context

Dietary interventions are the mainstay of behavioural obesity management, but exactly what type of diet may be most beneficial remains a matter of controversy.1 Thus, both academic and popular literature is flush with arguments in favour of specifically altering the macronutrient composition of diets for weight loss, be it to restrict calories from carbohydrates or fat intake or to increase protein intake. Commercial interest in these approaches ranging from multimillion corporations (eg, Weight Watchers, Atkins) to bestselling authors (eg, the Zone Diet); all promise easy and sustained weight loss. However is there really a big difference between the efficacy and effectiveness of these diets? This is the central question of the two studies.

Methods

A prospective parallel group randomised trial was conducted by Bazzano and colleagues in 148 men and women without clinical cardiovascular disease and diabetes, comparing a low-carbohydrate …

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