Low-Fat Diets Worse for Weight Loss

By Adam Kusic

Low-Fat Diets Are Not Better for Weight Loss. By Elizabeth Lees. (Summary)

Article: http://www.livescience.com/52639-low-fat-diets-not-better-weight-loss.html


Low fat diets are less likely to result in weight loss as compared to high fat diets, if both diets contain the same amount of calories.


When comparing low-fat diets, high-fat diets, and no dieting, scientists in a study found that the only situation in which lowering dietary fat proved more effective in weight loss is when it was compared to those who were not dieting at all. This study suggests using a low fat diet is not an effective method of losing weight


A new analysis was done to determine the effectiveness of different diets. Low-fat, low-carb, high-fat, and no dietary changes were all compared, along with each diet’s intensity level (how closely diets were monitored, and if a dietitian was involved). The results of the research showed that the effects of a low fat diet depended on how intense the diet was.


Although the study suggested that low-fat diets are not particularly more effective in weight loss, it may be helpful for those trying to lose weight to remove some fat from their diets. Also, it is important to keep in mind that some fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy.


Healthy food preference is more important than following a specific diet; eating healthy foods a person likes makes them more likely to follow a healthy pattern. If foods that are appealing to a person are low in fat, that is okay, a low fat diet can still be healthy (as long as sufficient fruits and vegetable are included).


People are not good at following specific diets, and most of the time return to old habits, that is why it is important to monitor how well people respond to different diets.

Article Critique

This article was found in a site called Live Science, a popular website whose authors are not necessarily required to have qualifying credentials to publish material about a certain subject. The author of this particular article did not have any credentials listed other than "Live Science contributor", this shows a possible lack of understanding of the material; she could have been giving false information for everyone to read.


The studies mentioned in this article were, I am assuming, supposed to be hyperlinked to the actual study/source that the information discussed was obtained from. However, when the hyperlinks are clicked on, it brings the reader to an advertisement page. The study was not otherwise sited anywhere else throughout the article. This is a red flag because if the study which the article is based off of is not available, there is no way of validating the information. Luckily, with some digging, I believe I found the study:

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(15)00367-8/abstract. (MUST COPY AND PASTE ALL OF IT INTO BROWSER TO VIEW)


One of the professionals mentioned in the article, and author of the study it was based on, Dr. Deirdre Tobias, does have the experience and expertise to conduct such a study as she is a professor at Harvard in the Medical department with experience in nutrition.


As for the content of the article, the concept is correct that consuming the same number of calories, not dependent on the diet, will result in the same weight gain or loss. However, this article failed to mention anything about dietary effects on the body other than weight. Someone could start a diet of nothing but junk food, and another could start a diet of fruits, vegetables, sufficient protein, and carbs, and as long as they consume the same number of calories, their weights will change in roughly the same way. Their health, however would be completely different; muscle mass, metabolism, and blood pressure are all effected by diet and if a poor diet is used for an extended period of time (especially one high in fat), these aspects of the body will suffer.


The article was straight forward in its argument that a low-fat diet is not necessarily the most effective for weight loss. It gave supports from a professional article, and did not make any outrageous assumptions, or promises of a 100% effective diet, it simply stated information supportive of its main argument. One mistake though occurred at the end of the article when a quote was used form a professional to explain how the major problem with dieting is how well people follow their diet. This quote is not supportive of the article's main argument, and is therefor inappropriate to use as a conclusion.