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
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- 10 things you need to know today: July 30, 2014
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- Pay yourself first: The habit that can help you build wealth
- Sex can't explain the culture war
Subscribe to the Week