There is perpetual debate about which diet is best for promoting weight loss, and how they fare in the long run. A lot of research has been published on a number of popular diets. However, a direct diet comparison is needed to determine whether there really is an optimal choice.

The study

This was a meta-analysis of 121 randomized control trials including 21,942 participants with overweight and obesity. Researchers compared the effects of 14 popular diets (low fat, low carbohydrate, DASH, Mediterranean, etc.) on weight loss and cardiovascular disease risk.

The results

Each diet contributed to modest weight loss and substantial reductions to cardiovascular disease risk after six months, with little differences between diets. These effects largely diminished at 12 months for all diets, except for the Mediterranean diet, which continued to provide benefits for cardiovascular health. While these results suggest that any diet may be used to achieve weight loss, maintaining the weight loss is a separate effort that should also be addressed.

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This Study Summary was published on September 4, 2020.