APR 06, 2020 7:33 AM PDT

Positive Effects of Most Popular Diets Disappear After a Year

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

While evidence suggests that most diets lead to similar modest losses in weight and improvements in cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure within 6 months, after 12 months, most of these improvements are lost. 

To find this out, researchers analyzed the results of 121 randomized trials consisting of 21,942 patients (with an average age of 49) who followed popular named diets or alternative controlled diets who reported weight loss alongside changes in cardiovascular risk factors. To break down the data, they grouped the dieters according to their macronutrient patterns (low carbohydrate intake, low fat, moderate micronutrient) and according to 14 popular named diets such as Atkins, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and Meditaranean. 

In the end, the researchers noted that diets low in carbohydrates and fat resulted in modest weight reductions of 4-5kg and reductions in blood pressure within 6 months. Moderate macronutrient diets had similar, although slightly less significant results. 

Meanwhile, among the popular named diets, the researchers found that Atkins, DASH and Zone had the largest effect on weight loss (3.5 kg- 5.5 kg) and reductions in blood pressure within six months when compared to more flexible diets. Noteworthy: none of the diets improved levels of HDL cholesterol or C reactive protein (a substance linked to inflammation) within the same time period. 

At the 12-month mark however, the researcher noted that improvements in weight loss diminished among all diets studied, while cardiovascular risks similarly dissipated in all diets apart from the Meditarranean diet. 

Although the researchers say that some limitations may have skewed their results, they believe that their data is still fairly accurate. Thus, they say with moderate certainty that most diets lead to modest, if any, overall improvements in weight loss and cardiovascular health. As positive results are nevertheless typically reached after 6 months of practically every diet studied however, they recommend people to choose a diet according to culinary preference.

However, rather than following it with absolution, they then recommend putting more attention on how to sustain positive results once gained. They said, “If we are to change the weight trajectory of whole populations, we may learn more from understanding how commercial diet companies engage and retain their customers, and translate that knowledge into more effective health promotion campaigns.”

 

Sources: Science Daily, BMJ

 

About the Author
University College London
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
JAN 25, 2022
Cardiology
Fried Foods Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
JAN 25, 2022
Fried Foods Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
Fried foods are a favorite in the American diet, but regular consumption increases your risk of heart disease and death.
JAN 27, 2022
Cardiology
Exercise May Regenerate Heart Cells
JAN 27, 2022
Exercise May Regenerate Heart Cells
Recent research shows that exercise may help our hearts create new cells, effectively keeping them young.
FEB 01, 2022
Cardiology
Aging and Heart Disease Risk
FEB 01, 2022
Aging and Heart Disease Risk
Our risk of heart disease increases as we age, but heart conditions have become more and more common in younger adults.
JAN 27, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
The way to the heart is through the toilet seat. Casana raises $30million for its blood pressure monitoring toilet seat.
JAN 27, 2022
The way to the heart is through the toilet seat. Casana raises $30million for its blood pressure monitoring toilet seat.
Casana, a healthcare company based out of Rochester, New York, announced early this week that it has raised $3 ...
FEB 22, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Gut Bacteria Imbalances and Heart Disease
FEB 22, 2022
Gut Bacteria Imbalances and Heart Disease
Patients with cardiovascular disease have significant disruptions in their gut microbiomes, says a new study by an inter ...
MAY 12, 2022
Cardiology
New Research Helps Predict Dementia Before Symptoms Develop
MAY 12, 2022
New Research Helps Predict Dementia Before Symptoms Develop
A blood biomarker could predict dementia years before symptoms develop.
Loading Comments...