We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Should we recommend low-fat diets for obesity ?

Pirozzo, S. and Summerbell, C.D. and Cameron, C. and Glasziou, P. (2003) 'Should we recommend low-fat diets for obesity ?', Obesity reviews., 4 (2). pp. 83-90.


Dietary fat intake has been blamed for the increase in adiposity and has led to a worldwide effort to decrease the amount of fat in the diet. However, the comparative efficacy of this approach is debatable. Whilst short-term dietary intervention studies show that low-fat diets lead to weight loss in both healthy and overweight individuals, it is less clear if a reduction in fat intake is more efficacious than other dietary restrictions in the long term. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the effectiveness of low-fat diets in achieving sustained weight loss when used for the express purpose of weight loss in obese or overweight people. A comprehensive search identified six studies that fulfilled our criteria for inclusion (randomized controlled trial, participants either overweight or obese, comparison of a low-fat diet with another type of weight-reducing diet, follow-up period that was at least 6 months in duration and inclusion of participants 18 years or older without serious disease). There were a total of 594 participants in the six trials. The duration of the intervention varied from 3 to 18 months with follow-up from 6 to 18 months. There were no significant differences between low-fat diets and other weight-reducing diets in terms of sustained weight loss. Furthermore, the overall weight loss at the 12–18-month follow-up in all studies was very small (2–4 kg). In overweight or obese individuals who are dieting for the purpose of weight reduction, low-fat diets are as efficacious as other weight-reducing diets for achieving sustained weight loss, but not more so.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Low-fat diet, Obesity, Overweight, Weight-reducing diet.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:May 2003
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar