A new study on weight loss and methodology has given credence to what nutrition and dieting experts have been telling obese patients for years: eat less (fat), move more, and expensive supplements are a total waste of money- and they could be making you fatter.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston looked at a “nationally representative sample [of] obese dieters,” attempting to rule out best practices for maintained and sustainable weight loss. Among the 4,000 dieters whose information was included in the study, more than 63% had tried over the previous year to lose weight.
Study Lead investigator Jacinda M. Nicklas, MD, MPH, MA, is a Clinical Research Fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, and she says that despite low weight loss success rates, the numbers in the study show tried and true methods can be useful. Nicklas explains:
“Despite popular perception that obese people are unable to lose weight, a substantial number of obese participants in our study did report successful weight loss, suggesting that some obese U.S. adults can and do lose weight.”
She adds that complicated methods of dieting, such as shakes or other expensive meal replacement methods could actually be inhibiting weight loss in some obese dieters:
“Interestingly, although participants engaging in formal weight loss programs may be required to consume certain diet products or foods, in our study, adults who said they used diet products were actually associated with being less likely to achieve at least 10% weight loss.”
“This suggests that the structure of being in a program may be more important. It is possible that some dieters may be overeating diet products because they believe they are healthy, or low in calories.”
Data included in the study came from from the 2001-2006 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, using demographic, health, and health behavior information from “non-institutionalized U.S. adults.”