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Review: dietary counselling promotes modest weight loss, but the effect diminishes over time

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M L Dansinger

Dr M L Dansinger, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA;



in overweight or obese persons, is dietary counselling effective for weight loss?

Search methods:

Medline and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (1997 to July 2006), and reference lists, including that of an extensive systematic review published in 1998.

Study selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared dietary counselling (advice to change dietary patterns to limit fat or calorie intake, with or without exercise counselling) with a control intervention (usual care or a minimal intervention such as general verbal or written advice) for weight loss in overweight or obese adults. Additional inclusion criteria were study duration ⩾12 weeks and outcome assessment at ⩾16 weeks. 46 RCTs (n = 11 853, mean age 27–68 y, median 60% women, mean body mass index [BMI] 25–40 …

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  • Source of funding: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.