All Popular Diets Are Effective. Within One Year

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All Popular Diets Are Effective. Within One Year
All Popular Diets Are Effective. Within One Year

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All popular diets are effective. Within one year

The most famous diets, which are offered to fight obesity and prevent heart and vascular diseases, really have an effect. But it is unlikely to last longer than a year.

All popular diets are effective. Within one year
All popular diets are effective. Within one year

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The most famous diets, which are offered to fight obesity and prevent heart and vascular diseases, really have an effect. By following them, you can reduce weight and alleviate risk factors for diseases. But their effect is unlikely to last longer than a year. This is evidenced by a major scientific review published in The BMJ.

What scientists have done

An international team of scientists focused on 14 popular diets, including the Paleolithic Diet, Zone Diet, Atkins Diet, DASH Diet. They analyzed 121 studies that compared the effects of any of these diets with a regular diet.

In total, about 22 thousand people participated in these studies. Scientists were interested in how the weight and indicators of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (primarily, the level of cholesterol and blood pressure) changed.

The relief was short-lived

All the considered diets led to some weight loss: on average, after six months, people lost 4 kilograms. Following the decrease in weight, there was an improvement in the levels of glucose and "bad cholesterol" in the blood, blood pressure indicators.

The diets did not work the same way. For example, the Mediterranean diet and low-fat diets were most influential on blood lipid levels. The Atkins diet contributed to the maximum weight loss in six months.

The effects of each of these diets virtually disappeared within a year of following them. The study participants put on weight again, and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease returned to their previous levels.

Scientists suggest that this dynamic is explained by the fact that people's adherence to the diet was much higher in the first months. They note that it is not clear whether the reported short-term improvements in blood glucose and lipids are having a long-term health effect.

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