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A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity

Low-carb diets did not show significant weight loss over a conventional diet after one year.

Some short term weight loss results were demonstrated through a low-carb diet versus a low-calorie, high-carbohydrate, low-fat (termed by them, Conventional) diet. However, after a year there was no significant weight loss improvement associated with the low-carb diet.

This study was not a comparison between a low-carb diet and a low-fat whole foods plant based diet. As well, the effect of the low-carbohydrate diet on functions such as renal and cardiovascular was not evaluated. Bone health, and exercise tolerance was also not part of this study. Many participants in both groups did not maintain compliance. They had an attrition rate of 41%.

Research Summary Information

  • 2003
  • Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., Holly R. Wyatt, M.D., James O. Hill, Ph.D., Brian G. McGuckin, Ed.M., Carrie Brill, B.S., B. Selma Mohammed, M.D., Ph.D., Philippe O. Szapary, M.D., Daniel J. Rader, M.D., Joel S. Edman, D.Sc., and Samuel Klein, M.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309, USA. fosterg@mail.med.upenn.edu
  • No, Free full text of study was not found.
  • This study was not about a low-fat, whole-foods, high-carb diet!
  • Yes. Source of funding disclosure found
  • Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (RR00036, RR00040, RR00051, AT1103, DK 37948, DK 56341, DK48520, DK42549, DK02703, and AT00058).
  • Yes. Potential conflicts disclosure found
  • Dr. Foster reports having received consulting fees from Abbott Laboratories and HealtheTech and lecture fees from Abbott Laboratories and Roche Laboratories. Dr. Wyatt reports having received consulting fees from Ortho-McNeil, USANA, and GlaxoSmithKline and lecture fees from Roche Laboratories, Abbott Laboratories, Slim-Fast, and Ortho-McNeil. Dr. Hill reports having received consulting fees from HealtheTech, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and the International Life Sciences Institute; lecture fees from Abbott Laboratories, Roche Laboratories, and Kraft Foods; and grant support from M&M Mars, Procter & Gamble, and Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Szapary reports having received lecture fees from AstraZeneca and Kos Pharmaceuticals and grant support from AstraZeneca. Dr. Klein reports having received consulting fees from Roche Laboratories and HealtheTech, lecture fees from Ortho-McNeil, and grants from GlaxoSmithKline and Regeneron.
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