Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can Calories Reduction Lead to Weight Loss?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 66 percent of adults in Untied States are overweight and of those, 32 percent are obese.

People are aware of the fact that overweight or obese could increase the chance of developing medical disorders like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and even heart disease. Scientists also link obesity to certain types of cancer. Recently, several death cases of H1N1 also involved victims who were overweight. As such, overweight or obese people should try their utmost to lose weight.

A study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found that eating heart-healthy, low-calorie foods and exercising is the key to losing weight regardless of levels of carbohydrates, fat or protein. The findings were published on February 27, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

811 volunteers participated in the NIH study. 38 percent of them were men and 62 percent were women, who aged between 30 and 70, and either overweight or obese. The study examined the diets that have been popular in the United States in recent years.

The so-called "Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies (POUNDS LOST) study found similar weight loss after 6 months and 2 years among participants assigned to 4 diets that were different in the proportions of carbohydrates, fat or protein.

Diets used were low or high in total fat (20 or 40 percent of calories) with average or high protein (15 or 25 percent of calories). Carbohydrate content ranged from 35 to 65 percent of calories. All these diets employed the same calorie reduction goals and were heart-healthy with low in saturated fat and cholesterol while high in dietary fiber.

Participants lost an average 13 pounds (5.9 kilos) at 6 months and maintained a pound (4-kilo) loss at 2 years.

This new research advocated that as long as people follow a heart-healthy, reduced calorie diet, there is more than one nutritional approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, people who are required to lose weight are provided with flexibility to choose one that they feel most comfortable and most likely to sustain. In other words, the one approach that is most suited to their personal preferences and health needs..

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