It has been a tremendous month for us at Atkins.
On March 7, 2007, the Journal of the American Medical Association published one of the biggest stories in the world of health with results of a study which compared four popular diet programs, executed by researchers at Stanford University, and underwritten by the National Institutes of Health. The year-long weight loss and health study tested among 311 pre-menopausal overweight women was titled “The A to Z Weight Loss Study: A Randomized Trail.” It compared the Atkins Nutritional Approach, the Zone diet, the Ornish diet and a basic conventional eating plan based on food-pyramid recommendations (the LEARN program).
The study’s conclusion?
As reported in news headlines of major TV networks, newspapers, and web sites around the world:
The Atkins Diet declared “The Winner” and “Back on Top”.
The study’s results were clear:
The women who followed the Atkins weight loss program lost on average 40 percent more weight than the women on the next best plan;
The Atkins weight loss program proved significantly more effective than the other leading weight loss programs tested, and lowered risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease;
The best news was that women following the Atkins program also experienced the most favorable results in their “good” cholesterol levels (HDL), blood triglycerides and blood pressure.
Read the Pub Med study abstract here….
The Stanford researchers were interested primarily in weight loss. Lead author of the research, Dr. Christopher Gardner said, “In the weight loss department there was an advantage for the Atkins group.”
An interesting fact to note: Women on all four diets were far from meticulous about following the dietary regime they were assigned by the end of the 12- month period. No matter what diet they followed, those who consumed the least amount of carbohydrates had the best clinical results in weight loss and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. “We purposely didn’t just hand them the diet book and tell them to come back in a year,” said Dr. Gardner. “We made sure they understood it. Each group had eight weeks of classes with a dietitian who went over the principles of the books, section by section, so everyone knew exactly what to do. Furthermore, these were educated women in the Stanford University area; they were highly motivated and had a lot of support for the first two months. In addition, for the last 10 months of the 12-month study, the women were left to follow the diets on their own. It was a very “real-world” scenario,” said Dr. Gardner. “It’s what happens when even motivated people follow diet books. We think that’s extremely relevant.”