Moving Away From Diets

Armen Hareyan's picture


As swimsuit weather finally approaches, many people's thoughts turn to diet and weight loss.

How can I quickly lose 10, 20, 30, 40 pounds or more? What diet program, pill, or plan will get me the results that I want as rapidly as possible?


If you're thinking about a new diet, you may want to think again. An analysis of 31 long-term diet studies, all at least two to five years in length, by researchers at UCLA finds that diets do not lead to weight control for the vast majority of dieters. Even worse, Dr. Traci Mann found that many people actually end up heavier than they were before dieting.

"This very detailed review confirms what many nutrition experts have known for years," said Dayle Hayes, registered dietitian and president of Nutrition for the Future in Billings. "While the conclusions aren't new, this comprehensive analysis is based on the GRADE system, used by Medicare to assess the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations for all types of medical procedures. Sadly, dieting got a grade of F when it came to permanent weight control."

Here is a summary of the rigorous review published in the April 2007 American Psychologist: