Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Stanford Study: Weighing In

The Stanford Study: Weighing In

Okay, I was trying to ignore all the hoo-ha about the Stanford study--you know the one, where the Atkins Diet was proclaimed the winner in a weight-loss study. The other contenders, including the Zone Diet, the ultra-low-fat Ornish Diet and the LEARN diet, fell by the wayside.

The study has created a frenzy on the low-carb blog pages, understandably--the study was reported in none other than the stodgy Journal of the American Medical Association, after all. At the same time, the low-fat proponents are frenziedly explaining why it's no reason to jump on the low-carb bandwagon.

I say: Yadda yadda yadda.

The biggest thing that struck me about the study results was: whoop-ti-do. Atkins dieters lost an average of 10.4 pounds over the course of a year, while Ornish dieters lost 4.8. Doing worst were the Zone people, at 3.5 pounds. Okay, Atkins dieters doubled Ornish.

But really. We're talking miniscule amounts of weight here. Any diet that produced a 10-pound weight loss in a year, for anyone with a significant amount of weight to lose, would be deemed a horrific failure--although I guess it beats 4.8 pounds.

I think it's great that Atkins is getting a push here. But I have to agree with Junkfood Science blogger Sandy Szwarc: "While a 4 3/4-pounds difference after a year of dieting is being heralded as significant, the undeniable fact is that all of the weight losses were modest at best and clinically insignificant. And all were considerably less than the diets claim and certainly what most consumers believe will be their pay off after a year of effort."

Yeah. That.

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