There is no evidence to suggest that a low-fat diet is more effective for weight loss than other diets of similar intensity, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Bosto, Massachusetts, also found that low-carbohydrate led to greater weight loss than low-fat diets. The findings suggest that low-fat dietary guidelines, which have been recommended since the 1980s for people looking to lose weight, are flawed.
Low-fat has also been the cornerstone of dietary guidelines for people with diabetes. In recent years, however, research has increasingly indicated that these guidelines are flawed, and that a low-carb diet can be more effective for people looking to control their blood glucose levels.
This study took the form of a meta-analysis. The researchers examined 53 studies. They found that, in weight loss trials, low-carbohydrate interventions were significantly more effective for weight loss than low-fat interventions. In other trials, which didn’t compare low-fat to low-carbohydrate, the researchers nevertheless found no significant difference between low-fat and high-fat interventions.
“These findings suggest that the long-term effect of low-fat dietary intervention of bodyweight depends on the intensity of the intervention in the comparison group,” the researchers concluded. “When compared with dietary interventions of similar intensity, evidence from [randomised controlled trials] does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss.”
The findings are published in Lancet Diabetes &Endocrinology.

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