Scientists from the Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies (POUNDS LOST) study found similar weight loss after six months and two years among participants assigned to four diets that differed in their proportions of these three major nutrients. On average, participants lost 13 pounds at six months and maintained a 9 pound loss at two years. In the POUNDS LOST study, 811 overweight and obese adults aged 30 to 70 were assigned to one of four diets, and asked to record their food intake in a diary or an online tool that showed how intake compared with goals. Overweight is defined by having a body mass index (BMI)a calculation of the relationship between weight and heightgreater than 25 and less than 30. Research was conducted in Boston at Harvard University School of Public Health and at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.
All diets improved risk factors for cardiovascular disease at both six months and two years in ways consistent with prior studies.

Prior studies have shown that a loss of 5 to10 percent of body weight will help reduce risk factors for heart disease and other medical conditions. While the design of the POUNDS LOST study called for physical activity targets to be set at 90 minutes per week, a number of people need more physical activity in order to achieve their weight loss goals. The diets were low or high in total fat (20 or 40 percent of calories) with average or high protein (15 or 25 percent of calories). Group diet counseling sessions were held at least twice per month throughout the two years of the study, and individual sessions were held every eight weeks.
Diets were adapted during sessions to the diverse cuisines from these two regions of the country.
Improved risk factors include reduced levels of triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowered blood pressure, and increased HDL (good) cholesterol.

This is important information for health professionals who prescribe weight loss for their patients, and for adults who are seeking ways to sustain a healthful eating pattern," said Frank M. Participants were given personalized calorie goals, ranging from 1,200 to 2,400 calories per day, which reduced their overall caloric intake as compared with their daily energy requirement. Sixty-six percent of American adults are overweight and of those, 32 percent are obese, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All diets decreased the presence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of related conditions, overweight, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and low HDL cholesterol, which increases heart disease risk.

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