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Sick of dieting? New study finds low-fat food might not actually help you lose weight

Reduced-fat diets are no more effective than higher-fat diets in reducing weight, a new study has found.

Image: Shutterstock/esolla

LOW-FAT DIETS diets do not lead to greater weight loss than higher-fat diets, according to a new study in one of the world’s leading medical journals.

The study – a meta-analysis of 53 papers involving 68,128 adults - found that there was no difference in the average weight loss between reduced-fat and higher-fat diets.

Low-fat diets only resulted in greater weight loss when compared with no diet at all, and led to slightly less weight loss compared with low-carbohydrate diets, according to research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Need for new approaches

“There is no good evidence for recommending low-fat diets,” said lead author Dr Deirdre Tobias from Harvard Medical School.

Behind current dietary advice to cut out the fat, which contains more than twice the calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein, the thinking is that simply reducing fat intake will naturally lead to weight loss.
But our robust evidence clearly suggests otherwise.

The study is based on a review of all randomised trials, up to the end of July 2014, that compared the effectiveness of low-fat diets to other diets, including no diet, at improving long-term weight loss in non-pregnant adults.

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To effectively tackle obesity, according to Tobias, better approaches to long-term weight loss need to be identified.

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About the author:

Catherine Healy

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