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JAMA study shows no difference in effectiveness of branded diet

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All trademarked or branded diet programs produce equal weight loss if a person stays with the diet. Going it on your own can be just as effective as a branded diet. These are the conclusions of a meta-analysis conducted by Bradley Johnston, assistant professor of clinical epidemiology of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University. The study was published in the Sept. 2, 2014, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Johnston’s examination included 59 published articles and 48 randomized clinical trails. The research included 7,286 individuals who were considered to be overweight or obese. The research compared weight loss at six months and one year intervals.

Low-carbohydrate diets had an average weight loss of 19.2 pounds and low-fat diets had an average weight loss of 17.6 pounds at six months. Both types of diets showed a slight decrease in weight at one year. The average loss at one year was an additional 2.2 pounds and 4.4 pounds for low-carbohydrate diets and low-fat diets respectively. There was a 3.8 pound greater weight loss with the Adkins Diet than the Zone Diet at six months.

An average weight loss of 16 pounds in a year occurred regardless of the brand of diet followed. The researchers explain that this is encouraging news for people that are overweight because the findings will allow them to opt for the diet that they are most comfortable with. The study also debunks all the claims of any diets superiority over any other diet.

The study is unlikely to cause branded diet companies to cut back on advertising or having celebrity spokespeople claim that their diet is superior. The study does indicate that a self imposed diet will work just as well as a branded diet although that option was not investigated. Even with a weight loss of 16 pounds in a year a very obese person will spend years dieting with any diet in hopes of avoiding diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and the other heath problems that are the result of being overweight.