Now we know, dieting does not work

Medical News Today has an article on the results of a study published in the April 2007 edition of The American Psychologist.

Here’s what we know about dieting based on a review of 31 studies where dieters were followed for 2 to 5 years.

  • It’s possible to lose 5% to 10% of your weight on any number of diets, but the weight comes back.
  • Most people regain all the weight, plus more.

Dr. Traci Mann who is associate professor of psychology at UCLA in California thinks the real situation is actually worse because of bias in the design of the studies. For example,

  • Many participants phone or mail their results in, without an impartial confirmation of their answers.
  • In many studies there is less than a 50% follow up rate; and the people who put on a lot of weight are less likely to stay in touch.

The researchers did not single out any specific diet plans for praise or condemnation.

An alternative approach is size acceptance and intuitive eating, described here.

4/15/07 19:01 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.