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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 02:36
anita45 anita45 is offline
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Default This proves Atkins is best diet, say scientists

Just found this article on the UK Times website:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/ne...icle1466880.ece

This proves Atkins is best diet, say scientists
John Elliott

A SCIENTIFIC study into the controversial Atkins diet suggests that it can be one of the most effective ways for women to lose weight.

At the end of 12 months, overweight subjects on the Atkins regime had lost twice as much weight on average as women on three competing diets. Atkins minimises carbohydrates, such as bread and sugar, in favour of meat and other proteins.

However, amid increasing concern that its devotees miss out on vital nutrients, it has recently been supplanted by new regimes such as the GI diet, which consists of foods that release glucose slowly and evenly into the bloodstream.

This week, however, the study will say Atkins produced more weight loss with no signs of undesirable side-effects.

“So many people have been asking questions about diets for years. We think it’s time to give them some answers,” said Christopher Gardner, professor of medicine at Stanford University’s disease prevention research centre in California, who led the study.

“We have an epidemic of obesity that’s still on the rise, and the ideas of our best and brightest people haven’t been able to change that.”

In the study, 311 pre-meno-pausal, overweight women were asked to follow one of four regimes: the Atkins, Zone, Learn or Ornish diet. Each involve a different level of carbohydrate intake. The Atkins diet recommends the lowest level, the Zone diet a little more.

The Learn (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships and Nutrition) diet follows the American government’s recommendations for a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates.

The Ornish diet is very high in carbohydrates and extremely low in fat.

After a year, the 77 women in the Atkins group lost an average 10lb — about twice as much as those on the Learn and Ornish diets. Women on the Zone lost an average of 3.5lb.

Women in the Atkins group also achieved larger reductions in body mass index, triglycerides and blood pressure — all signs of improved health.

Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and health research at the Medical Research Council, said the reason for Atkins’s success was that people found a diet that allowed high intakes of meat and fat easier to follow than other more spartan regimes.

In Britain, the Atkins diet reached its peak popularity around 2003 when a survey indicated that 3m people were on it. It was endorsed by celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston. Its popularity has since waned.

Has Atkins worked for you or are other diets better?

Have your say
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 10:48
fatnewmom fatnewmom is offline
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Plan: My own low-carb rules
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The amounts of weight loss over a year's time are really low (10 pounds or less). Do you think they meant "per month"?

Anyway, it's good to see supporting studies.
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 11:54
Samuel Samuel is offline
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I believe that there is a cause for the current obesity epidemic and that there will be no permanent cure for obesity untill that cause is discovered. However, I agree that Atkins diet is the only diet which can stabilize your weight with minimum suffering until that cure is found.
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 12:07
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PS Diva PS Diva is offline
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Plan: Low GI
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Quote:
The amounts of weight loss over a year's time are really low (10 pounds or less). Do you think they meant "per month"?
I imagine it was folks who didn't have a lot to lose.
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 12:28
Rachel1 Rachel1 is offline
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People who are not significantly overweight will lose much more slowly, as do older people (particularly women). The article doesn't tell us the average age or weight of the participants.

Speaking for myself: I started Atkins about five years ago. At my age then (45ish, perimenopausal), most women gain weight. I've lost 35 pounds over the years, which doesn't seem like much averaged out, but considering I would have gained otherwise, it's more than it seems! My health has also improved over the time span many women's health deteriorates, so I am certainly not complaining.

Rachel
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 14:23
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SadLady SadLady is offline
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I think that older women lose more slowly is a myth. I am 62 years old and basically inactive and with a lot of health problems and in a year I lost 70 lbs. I did not lose any more because I hit a plateau and got depressed.
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  #7   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 16:18
kebaldwin kebaldwin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anita45
However, amid increasing concern that its devotees miss out on vital nutrients, it has recently been supplanted by new regimes


They must be talking about another Atkins diet. The Dr Robert C. Atkins that I read all about said that you had a high quality multi-vitamin plus plenty of fish oil to get proper nutrition. i.e. that was part of the Atkins diet. And then he wrote a whole book on Vita Nutrients that told one how to fix most health problems.

http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Atkins-Vit...73046627&sr=8-1

In fact when his diet went up against other diets -- not only did the participants lose more weight and more fat -- their blood tests were much better also.
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  #8   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 16:54
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brobin brobin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatnewmom
The amounts of weight loss over a year's time are really low (10 pounds or less). Do you think they meant "per month"?

Anyway, it's good to see supporting studies.



Remember, that is an average, and after a year. Some people might have failed on the diet, others might have had less to lose.

Not many people on any diet actually stick to the "lifestyle". Ten pounds after a year for people who were probably 10 to 30 pounds over weight to begin with, is awesome.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 19:02
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Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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Quote:
They must be talking about another Atkins diet.


I was thinking the same thing. The Atkins diet that I'm familiar with encourages the eating of more vegetables than most people ate before they even thought of Atkins (5 or 6 servings a day and that's at induction levels!).
Fruits? Yup, even during induction. Of course, they aren't the type of things that most people (even dieticians, it seems) think of as fruits, but tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives and avocados are all botanical fruits and are permitted during induction.

Good to see low carb getting some positive press, though.
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 21:38
fatnewmom fatnewmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa N
Fruits? Yup, even during induction. Of course, they aren't the type of things that most people (even dieticians, it seems) think of as fruits, but tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives and avocados are all botanical fruits and are permitted during induction.



Great point!
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  #11   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 21:49
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diemde diemde is offline
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Here's a link to the abstract: http://nutrition.stanford.edu/pdfs/AZ_abstract.pdf

And Stanford's press release http://nutrition.stanford.edu/pdfs/AZ_press.pdf
STANFORD, Calif. — The case for low-carbohydrate diets is gaining weight. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have completed the largest and longest-ever comparison of four popular diets, and the lowest-carbohydrate Atkins diet came out on top.

Of the more than 300 women in the study, those randomly assigned to follow the Atkins diet for a year not only lost more weight than the other participants, but also experienced the most benefits in terms of cholesterol and blood pressure.

“Many health professionals, including us, have either dismissed the value of very-low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss or been very skeptical of them,” said lead researcher Christopher Gardner, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. “But it seems to be a viable alternative for dieters.”

The results will be published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The 311 pre-menopausal, non-diabetic, overweight women in the study were randomly assigned to follow either the Atkins, Zone, LEARN or Ornish diet. Researchers chose the four diets to represent the full spectrum of low- to high-carbohydrate diets.

The Atkins diet, popularized by the 2001 republication of Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, represents the lowest carbohydrate diet. The Zone diet, also low-carbohydrate, focuses on a 40:30:30 ratio of carbohydrates to protein to fat, a balance said to minimize fat storage and hunger. The LEARN (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships and Nutrition) diet follows national guidelines reflected in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid—low in fat and high in carbohydrates. The Ornish diet, based on bestseller Eat More, Weigh Less by Dean Ornish, is very high in carbohydrates and extremely low in fat.

Study participants in all four groups attended weekly diet classes for the first eight weeks of the study and each received a book outlining the specific diet to which they were assigned. For the remaining 10 months of the study, the women’s weight and metabolism were regularly checked, and random phone calls monitored what they were eating.

One of the strengths of the $2 million study was that this setup mimicked real-world conditions, Gardner said. Women in the study had to prepare or buy all their own meals, and not everyone followed the diets exactly as the books laid out, just as in real life.

At the end of a year, the 77 women assigned to the Atkins group had lost an average of 10.4 pounds. Those assigned to LEARN lost 5.7 pounds, the Ornish followers lost 4.8 pounds and women on the Zone lost 3.5 pounds, on average. In all four groups, however, some participants lost up to 30 pounds.

After 12 months, women following the Atkins diet, relative to at least one of the other groups, had larger decreases in body mass index, triglycerides and blood pressure; their high-density lipoprotein, the good kind of cholesterol, increased more than the women on the other diets.

Gardner has several ideas for why the Atkins diet had the overall best results. The first is the simplicity of the diet. “It’s a very simple message,” he said. “Get rid of all refined carbohydrates to lose weight.” This message directly targets a major concern with the American diet right now—the increasing consumption of refined sugars in many forms, such as high-fructose corn syrup.

Beyond pinpointing this high sugar intake, the Atkins diet does the best at encouraging people to drink more water, said Gardner. And when people replace sweetened beverages with water, they don’t generally eat more food; they simply consume fewer calories over the course of the day.

The third theory Gardner offered as to why the Atkins diet was more successful is that it is not just a low-carbohydrate diet, but also a higher protein diet. “Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fats, which may have helped those in the Atkins group to eat less without feeling hungry,” he said.

Although the Atkins group led in terms of the average number of pounds lost, this group also gained back more weight in the second half of the study than those in the three other groups. Gardner also noted that the women in the Atkins group had lost an average of almost 13 pounds after six months, but ended the one-year period with a final overall average loss of 10 pounds.

Though critics of low-carbohydrate diets say that such diets can lead to health problems, none of the factors measured in this study was worse for the Atkins group. Gardner cautions, however, that there are potential long-term health problems that could not have been identified in a 12-month study. Also, several basic vitamins and minerals can be difficult to get in adequate amounts from a very-low-carbohydrate diet.

In the long run, Gardner hopes to use the large data set generated in this study to investigate why different diets might work better for different people. “We’re trying to see if we can learn more about the factors that predict success and failure with weight loss,” he said.

Regardless of what new insights are revealed, Gardner said the message he hopes people take from the study is the importance of eliminating from their diet, as much as possible, refined carbohydrates such as white bread and soda.

Gardner’s co-authors were Alexandre Kiazand, MD, postdoctoral scholar; Sofiya Alhassan, PhD, postdoctoral scholar; Soowon Kim, PhD, data analyst; Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine; Raymond Balise, PhD, statistical programmer; Helena Kraemer, PhD, professor of biostatistics; and Abby King, PhD, professor of health research and policy and of medicine. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, and a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 22:03
fatnewmom fatnewmom is offline
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It will be published in JAMA, fabulous!
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 22:48
.muse.'s Avatar
.muse. .muse. is offline
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IN YOUR FACE! NYAH NYAH!

Man, it feels good to be validated, especially by such an esteemed school as Stanford. I cannot tell you how many friggin' people I have had tell me that I was going to die of a heart attack, or that all the weight would come back, or that it was terrible for my cholesterol or triglycerides, or any of that. Even my specialist when I was pregnant told me after I quit breast feeding to not do Atkins, that it was "dangerous".

Gnehehehe!~#$$%~#$!~#$%!~#
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  #14   ^
Old Sun, Mar-04-07, 22:59
LC FP LC FP is online now
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It probably also helps that it wasn't supported by the Atkins Foundation.

Quote:
Also, several basic vitamins and minerals can be difficult to get in adequate amounts from a very-low-carbohydrate diet.

I wonder what they are?


Quote:
One of the strengths of the $2 million study was that this setup mimicked real-world conditions, Gardner said. Women in the study had to prepare or buy all their own meals, and not everyone followed the diets exactly as the books laid out, just as in real life.

I hate real life. I'd like to see them cram all that low fat food into the poor Ornish group for a whole year and see if they live...
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  #15   ^
Old Mon, Mar-05-07, 09:17
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Dodger Dodger is offline
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The problem that I have with studies like this is the randomization of the diets. People are randomly assigned to one of the diets. This tends to cause poor compliance. Many people have heard so much about the harmful effects of eating fat that, if assigned to Atkins, they try to eat low-carb and low-fat. This ends up being too few calories and leads to binges and going off the plan. It would be even worse for those randomly assigned to Ornish. You really have to be a fanatic to keep on that plan.

I would much rather have the people choose which plan they want to go on. Of course this would make it difficult to fill out some of the groups.
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