Chocolate, Crisps, Cheese Derail Diets

A recent survey of 1,000 women found that nearly 60 per cent of females admitted that food cravings make dieting difficult for them, when compared to other outside influences such as supermarket shopping, cooking for a family and going out with friends , the Daily Express reported. The poll, which was conducted by sweetener firm Splenda, found that nearly half of the respondents opted for chocolate , a third went for crisps, while a quarter chose cheese or bread as their biggest temptations. A glass of chilled white wine on a night out was named as the fourth biggest craving .

Is Dieting Worth the Trouble?

Average weight change among diet subjects in 20 studies by length of follow-up. Average difference in weight change between diet subjects and control subjects in the same studies by length of follow-up. The size of the symbol (from smallest to largest) indicates the starting sample size: under 100, under 200, over 200, over 1,000, and over 10,000. Solid circles indicate that less than 20 percent of starting sample dropped out of the study. Open circles mean 20 percent or more of the starting sample dropped out. But whenever we tried to convince other researchers that dieting was not the solution, our colleagues would say, “But what about the Look AHEAD trial?” Unlike the dieters in the studies we reviewed, dieters in the Look AHEAD trial (all of whom were overweight or obese and had Type 2 diabetes) did in fact lose weight and keep it off. They managed to sustain a nearly 5 percent weight reduction for four years . As long as the Look AHEAD trial was out there, we couldn’t convincingly say that dieting does not work. And if dieting does work, if we can get people to lose weight and keep it off, researchers have argued, then we should see multiple cardiovascular health benefits. The Look AHEAD trial, therefore, was to be the long-awaited test of whether successful dieting truly promoted better cardiovascular outcomes — and the answer, unfortunately, was no. Although the trial led to improved quality of life, decreases in sleep apnea, reduced need for diabetes medication, and delayed physical disability, it did not achieve its most important objective of fewer strokes, heart attacks, or cardiovascular deaths.

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