A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity

At any given time, approximately 45 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the United States are trying to lose weight. Despite these efforts, the prevalence of obesity has doubled in the past 20 years and has become a major public health problem. The conventional dietary approach to weight management, recommended by the leading research and medical societies, is a high-carbohydrate, low-fat, energy-deficit diet

Gary D. Foster; Holly R. Wyatt; James O. Hill; Brian G. McGuckin; Carrie Brill; B. Selma Mohammed; Philippe O. Szapary; Daniel J. Rader; Joel S. Edman; Samuel Klein

2003

Scholarcy highlights

  • At any given time, approximately 45 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the United States are trying to lose weight. Despite these efforts, the prevalence of obesity has doubled in the past 20 years and has become a major public health problem. The conventional dietary approach to weight management, recommended by the leading research and medical societies, is a high-carbohydrate, low-fat, energy-deficit diet
  • No significant differences were found between the groups in total or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations
  • The increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and the decrease in triglyceride concentrations were greater among subjects on the low-carbohydrate diet than among those on the conventional diet throughout most of the study
  • We conducted a one-year, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effect of the low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat Atkins diet on weight loss and risk factors for coronary heart disease in obese persons
  • There were no significant differences between groups in the total or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, except at month 3, when values were significantly lower in the group on the conventional diet than in the group on the low-carbohydrate diet
  • The results of the analyses that included data on subjects who completed the study and data obtained at the time of the last follow-up visit for those who did not complete the study were nearly identical to the analyses in which base-line values were carried forward in the case of missing data with respect to blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and serum lipoproteins. The results of this multicenter, randomized, controlled trial demonstrate that the low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat Atkins diet produces greater weight loss than a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet for up to six months, but that the differences do not persist at one year
  • Longer and larger studies are required to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diets

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