Friday, January 07, 2005

Weight loss companies, low carb, and teachers...


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Proclaiming an end to the low-carb diet craze, U.S. weight loss companies are launching a marketing blitz aimed at winning over consumers resolved to shed flab once and for all in the New Year.

As the number of Americans following low-carbohydrate regimens like Atkins and South Beach continues to fall, stalwart diet companies such as Weight Watchers International Inc. (Research) and Jenny Craig Inc. are confident they can regain the upper hand in 2005.

Already, Weight Watchers shares have gained nearly 16 percent in the last 2 months, partly in anticipation of an improved outlook.

Really? They think they're going to benefit? Why?


Design, Setting, and Participants A single-center randomized trial at an academic medical center in Boston, Mass, of overweight or obese (body mass index: mean, 35; range, 27-42) adults aged 22 to 72 years with known hypertension, dyslipidemia, or fasting hyperglycemia. Participants were enrolled starting July 18, 2000, and randomized to 4 popular diet groups until January 24, 2002....

Results Assuming no change from baseline for participants who discontinued the study, mean (SD) weight loss at 1 year was 2.1 (4.8) kg for Atkins (21 [53%] of 40 participants completed, P = .009), 3.2 (6.0) kg for Zone (26 [65%] of 40 completed, P = .002), 3.0 (4.9) kg for Weight Watchers (26 [65%] of 40 completed, P < .001), and 3.3 (7.3) kg for Ornish (20 [50%] of 40 completed, P = .007). Greater effects were observed in study completers. Each diet significantly reduced the low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio by approximately 10% (all P<.05), with no significant effects on blood pressure or glucose at 1 year. Amount of weight loss was associated with self-reported dietary adherence level (r = 0.60; P<.001) but not with diet type (r = 0.07; P = .40). For each diet, decreasing levels of total/HDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein, and insulin were significantly associated with weight loss (mean r = 0.36, 0.37, and 0.39, respectively) with no significant difference between diets (P = .48, P = .57, P = .31, respectively).

The differences in the diets- especially the retention rates- are not statistically significant.

Check out the curves...

Looks also like Weight Watchers is worst for insulin...

Now what this all means, I guess, is that for pure weight loss, some form of discipline is more important than anything else. For me, cutting out refined starches and potatoes worked wonders- along with exercise.

At the moment I'm on to refining the exercise method.

But I've always been suspicious of groups like Weight Watchers. If they're successful- really succeesful- they lose a customer. Of course, teachers are supposed to be able to do that, too. Some do. The good ones.

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