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Success of low-calorie diets are remarkably poor noted Albert Stunkard in 1959, notes Gary Taubes
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 9:24 am Email this article
In 1959, psychologist Albert Stunkard found that the success of low-calorie diets were 'remarkably similar and remarkably poor', notes Gary Taubes in Chapter Two of his excellent book Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It. Stunkard, 1959, Results of 100 Obese Patients on Low-Calorie Diet
Stunkard, 1959, Results of 100 Obese Patients : 12% lost 20 lbs, 1% lost 40 lbs, and only 2% maintained weight loss after two years
Stunkard also reported that out of 100 obese patients who he prescribed a balanced low-caloried diet of 800 to 1500 calories per day, that only 12%—12 of these 100 obese patients—lost 20 pounds; only 1% of patients lost 40 pounds; and after two years, only two of patients—2%—had maintained their weight loss.
Quote from Why We Get Fat
Here is what Gary Taubes wrote about it
Here is what Taubes wrote.
“The very first time anyone published a review of the efficacy of undereating as a treatment for obesity—the psychologist Albert Stunkard and his colleague Mavis McLaren-Hume, in 1959—this was their conclusion. Nothing much has changed since.
People Assume Low-Calorie Diets Are Effective and Easy
People assume low-calorie diets are effective and easy; they’re not
“Stunkard said their study was motivated by what he called the ‘paradox’ between his own failure to treat obese patients successfully at his New York Hospital clinic by restricting how much they eat and ‘the widespread assumption that such treatment was easy and effective.’
“Stunkard and McLaren-Hume combed the medical literature and managed to find eight articles in which physicians reported on their success rates treating obese and overweight patients in their clinics.
Results of Low-Calorie Diets
Results of low-calorie diets are remarkably poor
“The results, said Stunkard, were ‘remarkably similar and remarkably poor.’
“Most of these clinics were prescribing diets that allowed only eight hundred or one thousand calories a day—maybe half what the [Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)] women said they were eating—and still only one in four patients ever lost as much as twenty pounds; only one in twenty patients managed to lose as much as forty pounds.
1959 Stunkard Study Results of 100 Obese Patients on Low-Calorie Diet
1959 Stunkard Study Results of 100 Obese Patients on Low-Calorie Diet : 12 lost 20 lbs, only one lost 40 lbs, and only 2 out of the 100 maintained weight loss after two years
“Stunkard also reported on his own experience prescribing ‘balanced diets’ of eight hundred to fifteen hundred calories a day [ 800 to 1500 calories per day ] to a hundred obese patients in his own clinic: only twelve lost as much as twenty pounds, and only one lost forty pounds.
“Two years after the end of treatment,” Stunkard wrote, “only two patients had maintained their weight loss.”
This is a MUST-READ Book
This is MUST-READ book for anyone interested in body weight
This is MUST-READ book for anyone interested in body weight… or anyone who believes that saturated fat is bad for you… or anyone who believes that carbohydrates are good for you… or anyone who believes that obesity is caused by a lack of will power… or anyone who believes that obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little (yes, of course this is true, but this does not answer the question as to why people eat too much and exercise too little, which Taubes answers in this book).
I highly recommend this book.
Gary Taubes is an excellent science journalist.
His previous books include “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, a longer book which is also about low-carb diets, but is a much longer book.
Other Articles from This Book, Why We Get Fat
Articles from Gary Taubes current book, Why We Get Fat
Other Articles from Good Calories, Bad Calories
Articles about Gary Taubes previous book, Good Calories, Bad Calories
Contact info for Gary Taubes
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