USDA on diets
Cecilia Wilkinson Enns
cenns at rbhnrc.usda.gov
Wed Jan 10 08:19:37 PST 2001
>From Associated Press:
Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2001
USDA: Most Popular Diets Flawed
WASHINGTON (AP) - Most popular diets help people drop pounds
initially, but only traditional moderate-fat, high-carbohydrate
regimens seem to keep dieters slim, according to the first major
review of popular diets by the federal government.
The Agriculture Department study found that any diet that limits
food to about 1,500 calories per day produces short-term weight
loss, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
But those diets do little to help a dieter lower cholesterol and blood
The study is to be released publicly Thursday, the Post said.
USDA spokesman Andy Solomon declined to comment Tuesday
``This basically tells you that you can lose weight on any of the
diets, if you keep your calories down,'' Agriculture Secretary Dan
Glickman told the Post. ``The trick is how you maintain that weight
The report, the first in an ongoing review of popular diets, casts
doubt on newer, unorthodox approaches.
Those programs that have put more demands on dieters - like
those recommended by groups such as the American Heart
Association and Weight Watchers - have the best scientific
evidence to back up their success rates and health claims.
They recommend consuming no more than 30 percent of calories
as fat, limiting protein to about 20 percent of the diet and
consuming more fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates to
help satisfy hunger with fewer calories.
They are the most nutritionally adequate and showed some of the
best improvements in blood levels of the most dangerous
cholesterol and blood fats and in blood sugar control, the study
``Based on the scientific knowledge we have, this seems to be the
most efficacious way to go and it is most likely the safest,'' the
Post quoted Xavier Pi-Sunyer, director of the obesity research
center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York and editor of
Obesity Research, which will publish the full USDA study in the
Cecilia Wilkinson Enns
USDA/ARS/BA/BHNRC/Food Surveys Research Group
BARC-West, Bldg. 005, Room 102
10300 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
E-mail: cenns at rbhnrc.usda.gov
More information about the PHNUTR-L