A team of public health researchers at Tulane University says diets that, at least over the short run, diets that are moderately low in carbohydrates may work better than diets that are moderately low in fat.
The researchers' study, published in the latest issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, has attracted widespread media attention. Mandy Oaklander writes in one of the many articles about the study, for Time, that the researchers tracked 148 obese dieters over the course of a year. Half tried to avoid fat, and half tried to avoid sugar and starch. The low-fat dieters tried to get less than 30 percent of their calories from fat. The low-carb dieters tried to eat fewer than 40 grams of carbs per day.
After a year, about 80 percent of the people in both groups were sticking with their diets at least some of the time. The people in the group with moderately low fat consumption had lost an average of 4 pounds. The people in the group with moderately low carbohydrate consumption had lost an average of 12 pounds each. The people with moderately low carb consumption also seemed to do a slightly better job at improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels, the researchers said.