New Study on Popular Diets: What’s Best for You

Perhaps you’ve struggled to find a diet that works for you, despite the almost overwhelming number of choices. And research seems to yield varying results. This is important because being a healthy weight can lower your risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and many cancers.Planning of diet.

A new study of popular diets in the Annals of Internal Medicine, completed a systematic review of controlled trials of popular diets and weight loss programs to look at their effectiveness at 12 months. These included Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Medifast, Atkins, SlimFast, eDiets and the LoseIt! app among others.

The authors concluded that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig programs have the most robust evidence for people losing weight at one year when compared to doing nothing or simply getting general education about weight loss. They cited Nutrisystem as showing promise after a few months, but it lacks long-term results. These programs are all considered to be high intensity – meaning they include at least 12 individual or group counseling sessions. Continue reading

A Work Place Program that Improves Health, Lowers Disease Risk

Two Overweight Women On Diet Eating Healthy Meal In KitchenFor employees who are stressed at work or struggle to make a healthy dinner for their family, a new study finds that a flexible workplace program can help address these concerns and lead to weight loss, adding almost half an hour of weekly physical activity, and improving many other risk factors.

The study focused on employees at risk for type 2 diabetes (86 million US adults are at risk). Lowering risk for type 2 diabetes also means reduced risk for some cancers, including colon, breast (postmenopausal), pancreas and endometrium. Type 2 diabetes increases risk of some cancers, and both diseases share several risk factors such as obesity, elevated insulin levels, and physical inactivity.

The study, published last week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found significant improvement in weight, waist size, insulin levels and physical activity in participants. About 90 employees participated by attending group classes or watching a DVD and having a weekly phone call with the lifestyle coach, or a combination of those. Continue reading

Study: Lowfat Diet, Weight Loss, and Survival For Women with Specific Breast Cancers

A new long-term study that adds to the research on diet and breast cancer survival finds that women with certain types of breast tumors who reduced their dietary fat for years after diagnosis — and also lost weight — had lower death rates over the next 15 years than survivors on a standard diet. canstockphoto16568943

The study was presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and is not yet published in a journal.

It was funded in part by AICR and joins a growing body of research investigating how diet affects women diagnosed with breast cancer. In October, an AICR report on breast cancer survivorship in partnership with WCRF found some indication that fat may play a role in survival. The Continuous Update Project report found there was limited but consistent research suggesting that eating lower amounts of total fat and in particular, saturated fat, before a diagnosis of breast cancer linked to improved survival.

Weight loss may also play a role, as the low-fat group lost a a modest but significant amount of weight in this study. The CUP report found indications that being a healthy weight may lengthen survival for women diagnosed with breast cancer. But the report’s findings were not strong enough to make a specific recommendation.

Observational evidence relating to low-fat diets and breast cancer survival is mixed and previous research from another major randomized dietary study among breast cancer survivors – the WHEL study – found a lowfat diet did not affect mortality or recurrence.

The study presented today included approximately 2,400 women who were part of Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS), a study that first launched in 1987. All the women were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and they joined the study within six months of diagnosis. Continue reading