Weight-Loss Diets: Weighing the Evidence

  • Laura E. MatareseEmail author
  • Hossam M. KandilEmail author
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


The prevalence of overweight and obesity as a public health issue is well established and reflects the overall lack of success in our ability to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Overweight and obesity is a risk factor for several of the leading causes of death, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and many types of cancer. The cornerstone of treatment has been diet and exercise. An estimated 1,000 weight-loss diets have been developed with more appearing in the lay literature and the media on a regular basis. The sheer number of existing diet plans would suggest that there is no one diet that has been universally successful at inducing and maintaining weight loss. Many of these dietary programs are based on sound scientific evidence and follow contemporary principles of weight loss. Others simply eliminate one or more of the essential food groups or recommend consumption of one type of food in excess at the expense of other foods with little to no supporting evidence. The focus of this chapter is on the weight-loss diet, specifically those with the most supporting scientific evidence and those which are most likely to succeed in achievement and maintenance of desirable body weight.


Diet Glycemic index Mediterranean diet Atkins diet Zone diet LEARN Weight Watchers Ornish 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionBrody School of Medicine, East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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