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New England Journal of Medicine examines seven diet myths

The New England Journal of Medicine featured a special article on Wednesday, that attempts to expel several commonly held beliefs regarding the human diet. The article entitled, "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity," specifically examines 7 myths that people often resort to while dieting. The article then proceeds to examine the effects of regularly eating breakfast, which the journal claims does not signifficantly influence weight loss.

The seven examined myths were:

1.Small sustained changes in energy intake or expenditure will produce large, long-term weight changes.
2.Setting realistic goals in obesity treatment is important, because otherwise patients will become frustrated and lose less weight.
3.Large, rapid weight loss is associated with poorer long-term weight outcomes than is slow, gradual weight loss.
4.Assessing the stage of change of diet readiness is important in helping patients who seek weight-loss treatment.
5.Physical-education classes in their current format play an important role in preventing or reducing childhood obesity.
6.Breastfeeding is protective against obesity.
7.A bout of sexual activity burns 100 to 300 calories for each person involved.
The myths were based on sources such as national health guidelines and studies from the 1960s of very-low-calorie diets. In his paper, David Allison of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his co-authors discuss more recent experimental studies that debunk each myth


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