It goes on to talk about a meta analysis that found:
Low-carb diets were linked to 8.73 kilograms of lost weight (19.25 pounds) at 6 months, and 7.25 kg (15.98 pounds) at 12 months. The low-fat diets were close behind, with 7.99 kg (17.61 pounds) lost in the first half-year and 7.27 kg (16.03 pounds) at the one-year mark.
The careful observer will note that at some point between 6 months and 12 months weight loss turned to weight gain. This isn’t a surprise, it’s what the long term studies of weight loss tell us – almost everyone on almost any diet can lose weight in the short term, and almost everyone gains it back in the long-term with many regaining more than they lost regardless of whether they keep their diet behaviors going or not. It’s one of the reasons why most weight loss studies (many of which are funded by weight loss companies) don’t go beyond a year or two. When confronted by the FTC about this, weight loss industry reps said that they wouldn’t do long term studies because it would be “too depressing” for their clients. I love the smell of for-profit “science” in the morning.
I don’t believe that weight loss should be used as a medical intervention at all, but even if doctor’s believe that it should they are still going about it in a way that doesn’t make any sense. What they’re doing at this point is the equivalent of prescribing a pill for a diagnosis that 60% of the population has, that has been shown in every long term study to work short term, but in the long term return the patient to their original sick state, making the majority more sick than they were within 5 years., then telling those who “failed” long-term (which is almost everyone) that they just need to try harder at not being sick because the treatment worked for 6 months so there’s no possible way that it can’t work forever or could stop working. That’s not even in the same galaxy as the ethical practice of medicine. Again, I agree with the AMA Council on Science and Health that body size isn’t a disease,.my argument is that even if doctor’s believe it is a disease, recommending weight loss does not constitute the ethical practice of evidence-based medicine. Of course the study authors don’t agree, they claim:
This supports the practice of recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight,”
Except it doesn’t, it support the practice of recommending any diet plan if the goal is for the patient to lose weight for 6 months and then start gaining it back. And here is the problem with weight loss research: Studies show that weight loss doesn’t work long term but study authors just go ahead and say that it does.
Sometimes it’s a study where more than 2/3 of participants dropped out and the rest lost an average of 2 pounds. Sometimes it’s Weight Watchers own studies finding that the average client loses 10 pounds in the first year and gains back 5 in the second year, and their chief scientist calls that “validation” of what they are doing. Today it’s these chuckleheads finding, clearly, that most people lose weight in the first 6 months and start gaining it back in the next 6 months and saying that supports the practice of recommending diets to patients (and I’m not even getting into the fact that this is based on the untested and scientifically challenged hypothesis that weight loss will lead to better health.) The obesity epi-panic is so completely out of control that scientists grossly misconstrue their findings, and the LA times puts in in the science section.
Activism Opportunity: Comment on the article at http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-diet-low-fat-carb-brand-best-weight-loss-study-20140902-story.html
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