|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Federal Government Studies Popular DietsAired January 10, 2001 - 4:46 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Listen up in the makeup department and anywhere else if you're thinking about a diet. If you're like millions of folks in this country, the New Year brings new resolve to shed some of those extra points.
There are plenty of fad diets that tout quick results, but which ones are best?
CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now to give us the facts on fat and on diet as well.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, here we go. There was a study by the federal government on popular diets. They decided so many people are going on them they might as well study them.
CHEN: Everybody's tried one.
COHEN: That's right. Everyone's tried one. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) study them and try to figure out which one is best.
And what they found actually is that all of them work in the short term, all of them will give you short-term weight loss. It doesn't matter what tricks the book or the Internet diet plan seems to be espousing: All of them will result in short-term weight loss.
Now, the kinds of diets that they looked, there were basically three different types. The first is a high-protein/low-carb diet like Atkins or Sugar Busters. The next one, a moderate fat diet, like the food pyramid or Weight Watchers, the more traditional diets. And then the last kind were low or very low-fat diets: for example, Dean Ornish, Pritikin, those two would fall into those categories.
Now, the interesting part about all of this is that they found is that they don't really know which kind of diet results in long-term weight loss, which, of course, is what all of us really want. And so, that is the next part of the study.
CHEN: Well, if people lose weight not only because they want to look better but they want to be healthier, have they figured out which of these diets actually helps your health?
COHEN: What they did find out -- actually, they did seem to have something of a definitive finding here -- is that the low-fat diets lowered your cholesterol than the high-protein diets. So, if that's what you're after, if one of the reasons you're losing weight is to lower your cholesterol, this report says that you're better off with a low-fat diet than with the high-protein diets.
CHEN: I mentioned here earlier the CNN makeup room, where everybody always seems to be either on the cabbage soup diet or the I- only-eat-slabs-of-bacon diet or something else that's going on in there.
How do we know which ones are cooky, crazy, quack diets, and how do we know which ones -- I mean, is there something to look for?
COHEN: There are a couple of things to look for. The Federal Trade Commission has actually came up with a list of things that you should look for that will let you know, you know what, maybe I ought to stay away from this diet.
For example, if you see a claim such as "Lose 30 pounds in just 30 days," well, if you did lose that much weight, you would probably just put it back on again, because the faster it comes off, the faster it comes back at you. The second one is "Lose weight while you sleep."
CHEN: I like that.
COHEN: That is a favorite. However, it's completely phony. That's the word that they use, "phony."
And the third one, "Lose weight and keep it off for good." No diet trick or no product is going to do that for you. You can go on a diet to lose weight. If you want to keep it off for good, you really have to work at it.
CHEN: Elizabeth, you just take all the fun out of all of it.
COHEN: I know, I know. Sorry.
CHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, our medical correspondent, joining us with the bad news today here.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top|