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No need for complicated diet plan – just eat less fat

A recent headline in the Daily Mail tells us to ‘Ditch the fancy diets, just cut down on fat: Eating healthily is more reliable way to lose weight’. Apparently, cutting back on fatty foods such as butter, cheese and crisps will help us lose weight.

In recent years we have be bombarded with supposedly science-based diet plans, ranging from the Atkins diet to the Dukan diet and even the caveman diet. But according to the Mail, this new research appears to cut through complicated diet rules and regulations to provide a single clear message: that if you want to lose weight, you should eat less fat.

The news was based on a large well-conducted review that tested the effect on body fat of reducing how much fat people ate. The review excluded studies that specifically aimed to make people lose weight, as researchers didn’t want to include only people who were already overweight or obese. They also excluded trials where overall calorie intake was being reduced as well as fat intake.

The pooled results found that people who were supposed to eat a diet lower in total fat had 1.6kg lower body weight by the end of the trial than those who continued to eat normally. This effect was independent of age, sex, starting weight, or health of the participants.

Overall, the review finds good evidence that having a lower intake of dietary fat results in sustained lowering of body weight in adults.

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