Low-carbohydrate diets such as the one popularized by nutrition guru Robert Atkins lose their advantages over other diets within a year, a Lancet study said.
People who ate less of starchy foods such as potatoes lost more weight in six months than those who trimmed fat and calories, according to a review of three clinical trials by researchers from RVA University in Copenhagen. The differences disappeared a year after the diets began.
"In the long term, people start to regain weight," Arne Astrup, lead researcher and a professor of nutrition, said in an interview. "After one year, there's hardly any differences between the Atkins groups and low-fat groups." People have bought more than 45 million copies of Atkins diet books in the past four decades, Astrup said in the Sept. 4 edition of the U.K. medical journal Lancet. Obesity is catching up with smoking as the leading cause of death in the U.S., where three in five adults are overweight or obese, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The condition raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, gall bladder disease and arthritis, says Bloomberg.
According to the Scotsman News, research carried out by analysts ACNielsen highlighted that just seven per cent managed to stick to the regime for a year - compared to an average of 18 per cent for other diets.
About one-in-seven people quizzed in that poll said the Atkins weight-loss plan was too "boring". The Government has also launched an official investigation into the Atkins diet.
A panel of about 20 doctors, nutritionist and dieticians at London’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence are evaluating the low-carb plan.
Dr Susan Jebb, who is considered one of Britain’s top nutritionists, has previously condemned the theory behind Atkins as "nonsense".
She believes people lose weight using the diet, because they eat less not because, as it has been claimed, Atkins dieters burn fat more efficiently. Dr Jebb has also raised concerns about the potential long-term effects of low-carb diets.
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