Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets may be effective alternatives to low-fat diets, according to a new Israeli study. (New England Journal of Medicine)
What the commentators said
Finally, a study that "offers long-awaited answers" in the "diet wars," said John McKenzie on ABC News. The low-carb dieters lost the most weight—12.1 pounds on average—and "even after two years of dining on meat and cheeses and eggs," they "did not have increased cholesterol levels."
Unfortunately, "this study is extremely flawed," said Dr. Dean Ornish in Newsweek. First of all, it was partially funded by the Atkins Foundation. Secondly, its definitions of diets are peculiar: The low-fat diet dropped fat intake from 31.4 percent to only 30.0 percent, and the Atkins diet made the unusual recommendation of "vegetarian sources of fat and protein." Whoever heard of a vegetarian Atkins diet?
This study only proves that "diets mostly fail," said Tara Parker-Pope in her New York Times blog Well. The dieters lost six to 10 pounds on average after two years—two years! Conclusion: "Dieters can put forth tremendous effort and reap very little benefit."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- 10 things you need to know today: August 21, 2014
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The fascinating political evolution of Paul Ryan
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
Subscribe to the Week