Popular diets promise weight loss and disease risk reduction, but data
to support their efficacy and health effects are limited. Dansinger and colleaguesArticle assessed adherence and 1-year changes in baseline
weight and cardiac risk factors in overweight and obese patients who were
randomly assigned to 1 of 4 diets (Atkins, Zone, Weight Watchers, and Ornish),
with varying nutrient composition. Adherence to the assigned diets was low.
Modest weight change from baseline was associated with diet adherence, not
diet type, and participants adhering to their assigned diet achieved comparable,
modest improvements in several cardiac risk factors. In an editorial,Article Eckel discusses the challenges of helping patients
achieve and sustain a lower weight.