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Stick to a low-cal diet and it will work

People who follow a calorie-restricted diet lose weight equally well regardless of the diet’s details

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5:15pm, February 25, 2009

Overweight people who adhere to a low-calorie diet lose weight regardless of the diet’s fine points, a study finds. Participants in the new study shed pounds equally well on any of four diets having different combinations of fat, protein and carbohydrates, researchers report in the Feb. 26 New England Journal of Medicine.

“It’s really how much people eat that counts,” says study coauthor Frank Sacks, a nutrition researcher and physician at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. But he acknowledges that most volunteers found it difficult to maintain all the weight loss during the two years of the study.

The results are the latest in a growing body of data emerging from large, multiyear trials in which volunteers are randomly directed to follow a particular diet. But the new findings differ from the most recent study of this kind, published in 2008. In that two-year study, researchers in

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