Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Best Weight-loss Plans For Heart Health Identified

Date:
October 3, 2007
Source:
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Summary:
Popular weight-loss plans vary significantly in their ability to positively affect heart health according to new research. The Ornish, Weight Watchers High Carbohydrate and New Glucose Revolution plans scored highest when measured by the Alternate Healthy Eating Index.

Over the past three decades, the rising obesity epidemic has been accompanied by a proliferation of weight-loss plans. However, as a new study by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) reveals, these weight-loss plans vary significantly in their ability to positively affect heart health.

Several weight-loss plans significantly outperformed others in their ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to new research.*

Specifically, the investigators found that the Ornish, Weight Watchers High Carbohydrate and New Glucose Revolution plans scored highest when measured by the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). Proven to be a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease, the AHEI is a measure that isolates dietary components that are most strongly linked to cardiovascular disease risk reduction.

"Obviously, obesity is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease," said UMMS Assistant Professor of Medicine Yunsheng Ma, PhD, MPH, one of the study's primary authors. "Optimal weight-loss plans should facilitate both weight loss and chronic disease prevention, specifically cardiovascular risk reduction."

Choosing weight-loss plans based on their status on The New York Times bestseller list during the past five years, Dr. Ma and colleagues evaluated the dietary quality of the New Glucose Revolution, Weight Watchers High Carbohydrate and Weight Watchers High Protein, Atkins 100- and 45-gram Carbohydrate, South Beach Phase 2 and Phase 3, The Zone, Ornish and the 2005 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid plans. Weight Watchers and the 2005 USDA Food Guide Pyramid plan were included because they are the largest commercial weight loss plan and the current government recommendation, respectively.

Elements used to determine dietary quality included ratio of white to red meat, ratio of polyunsaturated fat to saturated fat, and quantities of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, cereal fiber and trans fats, all of which are known to affect cardiovascular health.

Of a maximum 70 points, the AHEI scores from highest (best) to lowest were:

  1. Ornish (64.6)
  2. Weight Watchers High Carbohydrate (57.4)
  3. New Glucose Revolution (57.2)
  4. South Beach/Phase 2 (50.7)
  5. Zone (49.8)
  6. 2005 USDA Food Guide Pyramid (48.7)
  7. Weight Watchers High Protein (47.3)
  8. Atkins/100 g Carb (46)
  9. South Beach/Phase 3 (45.6)
  10. Atkins/45g Carb (42.3)

According to study co-author and UMass Memorial Medical Center registered dietitian Barbara Olendzki, RD, MPH, an instructor in medicine at UMMS, "The highest performing plans--Ornish, Weight Watchers High Carb and the New Glucose Revolution--fared well due to an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, higher whole grain composition and lower trans fats."

"One of the unexpected findings is that the 2005 USDA Food Guide Pyramid, the current government recommendation, fared significantly worse than the New Glucose Revolution, Weight Watchers High Carbohydrate and Ornish plans," said Ma. "The USDA dietary guidelines were originally devised to prevent nutrient deficiencies and it's clear that we need to modify or rebuild the pyramid to look into cardiovascular disease prevention, as it is the leading cause of death and disability for Americans. Americans deserve a better dietary guideline and recommendation."

"Patients can lose weight with most dietary plans in the short term, but whether the plan they choose maximizes cardiovascular risk reduction over the long term should also be a consideration for patients and health care providers," concluded study co-author Sherry Pagoto, PhD, UMMS assistant professor of medicine and a clinical psychologist at the UMass Memorial Weight Center.

*The article, "A Dietary Quality Comparison of Popular Weight-Loss Plans," was published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

This research was supported by an internal grant from the Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center at UMMS and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Massachusetts Medical School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Best Weight-loss Plans For Heart Health Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001081619.htm>.
University of Massachusetts Medical School. (2007, October 3). Best Weight-loss Plans For Heart Health Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001081619.htm
University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Best Weight-loss Plans For Heart Health Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001081619.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins