HealthDay News — Weight change over 12 months does not differ for a healthy low-fat (HLF) diet or a healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) diet, according to a study published in the February 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Christopher D. Gardner, PhD, from the Stanford University Medical School in California, and colleagues examined the impact of a HLF versus a HLC diet on weight change in a randomized trial involving adults aged 18 to 50 years without diabetes with a body mass index between 28 and 40 kg/m². Participants were randomized to HLF (305 adults) or HLC (304 adults); the behavior modification intervention was delivered via 22 diet-specific small group sessions administered over 12 months. 

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The researchers found that the mean 12-month macronutrient distributions were 48 versus 30% for carbohydrates, 29 versus 45% for fat, and 21 versus 23% for protein in the HLF versus HLC diets. At 12 months, weight change was −5.3 and −6.0 kg for the HLF and HLC diets, respectively (mean between-group difference, 0.7 kg; 95% confidence interval, −0.2 to 1.6 kg). No significant diet-genotype pattern interaction or diet-insulin secretion interaction was seen with 12-month weight loss. Eighteen adverse or serious adverse events occurred; these were distributed evenly between the groups.

“In this 12-month weight loss diet study, there was no significant difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat diet versus a healthy low-carbohydrate diet,” the authors write.

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