Study finds little variation in health benefits of long-term diets

According to a new study, all long-term diet plans which include low-carb or low-fat options can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as helping people to achieve weight loss.

Credit: udra11/

Although there are number of diets, surgical procedures and medications available to treat obesity, the best way for an individual to lose weight depends on health, genetics and their sincerity to stick a specific regimen. Still, managing a long-term weight loss remains a challenge, and obese people can expect to regain the weight once they stop treatment.

The researchers investigated their hypothesis on different weight loss interventions, including  exercise, Weight Watchers, types of bariatric surgery and obesity medications.

Based on the review of over 400 studies and peer-reviewed articles on obesity, the scientists found that every weight loss intervention varied greatly in in effectiveness.

The investigators also restricted genetic and other information to anticipate which intervention will help a particular individual. They concluded that specific weight loss methods may help some people and not others. This underlines the complexity of severe obesity, say the authors.

According to World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults suffer from overweight or obesity and therefore obesity is considered as a worldwide public health issue.

The stigma around this disease makes it difficult to address obesity as a public health problem. There often is a mismatch between the patient's cosmetic goals and what can realistically be achieved with diet and exercise. While a modest 5 percent to 10 percent weight loss can yield significant health benefits that may not provide the cosmetic changes patients seek."

Dr George Bray, Lousiana State University

Obesity is related with and contributed to short life span, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and other conditions. Weight loss can improve health outcomes by reducing the risk of these conditions.

Most of consumers will try dietary supplements at some point in their lives, which are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This comes despite limited scientific evidence to demonstrate that these supplements are safe and can efficiently support weight loss.

Recent studies have investigated whether some people with a body-mass index (BMI) that has the criteria for obesity can manage healthy cholesterol levels, blood sugar, levels of fats in the blood called triglycerides and normal blood pressure.

The study authors concluded that metabolically healthy obesity can be a short-term state, and individuals who well adheres the criteria are possible to develop cardiovascular and metabolic problems over time.

Effectively treating obesity is crucial if we are going to be able to address the devastating impact diabetes and cardiovascular diseases have on public health. As our scientific understanding of obesity continues to improve, we hope this will lead to the discovery of new treatment approaches."

Dr George Bray, Lousiana State University



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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