Research proves low fat diet is key to a slimmer figure
Findings published today in the British Medical Journal show that exchanging fatty foods for lower fat alternatives will help people shift around three-and-a-half pounds - without dieting. People taking part in trials also saw their waist-lines become slimmer, and levels of bad cholesterol decrease.
The results prove for the first time that weight loss can happen without trying to lose weight – simply by choosing foods lower in fat.
The report was commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Subgroup on Diet and Health following a request to update their guidelines on total fat intake. The results will be crucial in making global recommendations.
The research is particularly important because being overweight or obese increases the risk of many cancers, coronary heart disease and stroke. Reductions in total fat were also associated with small but statistically significant reductions in cholesterols and blood pressure, suggesting a beneficial effect on other major cardiovascular risk factors.
The systematic review included results from 33 randomised controlled trials, in North America, Europe and New Zealand, involving 73,589 men, women and children.
Those taking part had varying states of health. Comparisons were made between those eating less fat than usual (intervention group) and those eating their usual amount of fat (control group). The effect on weight and waist line was measured after at least six months.
The results show that eating less fat reduces body weight by 1.6kg, BMI by 0.56kg/m² and waist circumference by 0.5cm. All these effects were in trials in which weight loss was not the intended outcome, suggesting that they occur in people with normal diets. The weight loss happened quickly and was maintained over at least seven years.
The research was led by Dr Lee Hooper from UEA's Norwich Medical School. She said: "The weight reduction that we found when people ate less fat was remarkably consistent – we saw it in almost every trial. Those who cut down more on fat, lost more weight.
"The effect isn't dramatic, like going on a diet. The research specifically looked at people who were cutting down on fat, but didn't aim to lose weight – so they were continuing to consume a normal amount of food. What surprised us was that they did lose weight, their BMI decreased and their waists became slimmer. On top of this, they kept their weight down over at least seven years. There isn't a specific goal, the more fat you cut down, the more your weight falls.
"We didn't consider different types of fat in this study," said Dr Hooper. "But cutting down on saturated fat reduces our risk of heart disease and strokes, so the healthiest way to cut down on fat is to cut down on saturated fats.
"This means having low fat milk and yogurt, cutting down on butter and cheese, and cutting the fat off meat. Most importantly have fruit instead of fatty snacks like biscuits, cake and crisps. And remember, this isn't a diet, so don't take it to extremes, but work out a way of eating that you can stick to permanently.
"Keeping healthy is not just about fat and weight - but cutting down on fat, especially saturated fat, is a great start. Being physically active, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and drinking plenty of fluid also help to keep us healthy. We just need to get in the habit of doing these things," she added.
Co-author Prof Carolyn Summerbell, from Durham University, said: "A healthy diet is a way of eating that people can sustain over time. That's the trick, to find a comfortable way to eat that you can stick to for life which helps you maintain your weight. Cutting down on fat will help.
"Doing exercise and being physically active is good for maintaining weight and also has other health benefits, but it's not a replacement for a healthy diet."
The small amount of data available for children in the same analysis confirmed a relationship between total fat intake and subsequent weight change. Further trials are needed to examine the effect of reducing fat intake on body weight in developing countries as well as in children.
Journal reference: British Medical Journal (BMJ)
Provided by University of East Anglia
- High-fat diet may cause change in hypothalamus Sep 11, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Cut down on 'carbs' to reduce body fat, study authors say Jun 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Calorie density key to losing weight Jun 08, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Calories, not protein or carbs, are key to weight loss for people with diabetes Feb 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Losing weight may lower cardiac risks Nov 05, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Change in momentum when a body is thrown up and falls back down.
3 hours ago Say, a body of mass 'm' is thrown at a certain angle with the vertical with certain initial velocity 'u'. The initial momentum of this object is mu....
change in speed and wavelength of light while travelling from one med
3 hours ago what is the mechanism by which light changes its speed and wavelength while travelling from one medium to other. I know it is c/n or lamda/n and know...
Calculus of Variation - Classical Mechanics
6 hours ago I'm reading Classical Mechanics (Taylor), and the 6th chapter is a basic introduction to calculus of variations. I'm super confused :confused: ...
Frictional Force Equation Doesn't Make Sense
6 hours ago Frictional Force is mathematically defined as: Ff = μ*m*g*cos(θ) , where μ is the coefficient of friction, m is the mass of the object, g is...
Calculating Steam Pressure in Closed Container
11 hours ago I am trying to calculate the volume of liquid water i need to place in a sealed container in order to obtain 10 psi of steam pressure in that closed...
Learning curve of Electromagnetism?
16 hours ago I'm taking a first year physics course and have been having a little trouble with the basics of newtons laws and forces and whatnot, though nothing...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—Research by the University of Leeds has shown that very young children appear to reject story book characters who are overweight, but not those who are disabled.
Overweight and Obesity May 16, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 2
(HealthDay)—Weight gain in men and women is predicted by two different genetic variations—so-called polymorphisms, according to a new study from the Netherlands.
Overweight and Obesity May 15, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Drinking 500 ml of purified water is not associated with increases in resting energy expenditure (REE), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Congress on Obesity, ...
Overweight and Obesity May 14, 2013 | 2 / 5 (2) | 1
(HealthDay)—Reviews that are funded by industry tend to find the evidence weak for a causal link between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and the increasing prevalence of obesity, while other reviews consider ...
Overweight and Obesity May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the ...
5 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |