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The Battle Over Weight Loss Diet And How To Win It

by Roberto Millington (2019-06-04)

Many dietitians have seen results when they have used nutrition guidelines to help people lose weight, with modest benefits (and significant costs for health care) and no changes in weight. Even when these diets are followed with success, these findings still raise questions about their safety. This is not a scientific inquiry. Instead, it is a discussion about research and policy that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may require before it approves dietary supplements.

There also appears to be some evidence that a diet consisting of high-fat, saturated fats may contribute to heart disease, and people may be prone to overeating these fats. In 2009, FDA launched a program to evaluate nutritional products to ensure adherence to federal guidelines for healthy eating. The initiative included a review of published data and more than 1,300 participants from the NIH's National Institutes of Health (NIH), and it will be released next spring.

To learn more, see "Nutrient Information Products to Help U.S. Consumers Lose Weight and Lose Fat" and "Dietary Supplements in Healthy Eating, Prevention, and Weight Control: Are They Bad?"

Why does this controversy arise over protein supplements?

There is little evidence to support the claims made in many nutritional supplements that they act to improve weight loss. For example, there is no scientific evidence supporting that people taking protein supplements have any significant difference in their body weight after they cut, drink, train or prepare meals. For another protein supplement, a popular supplement known as an amino acid, there are few scientific studies showing the long-term benefits of taking a supplement with a high-protein diet over a low-protein baseline.

Many experts who have reviewed the literature on this issue find a greater risk than benefit in using protein supplements to enhance weight loss. For example, people who exercise often experience muscle wasting and loss of muscle mass with some of the diets discussed below as well as the more common weight loss supplements. For those who use a wide variety of food items to lose weight, the risk from the protein supplement side may be greater than that from the dietary supplement side for those who eat lean proteins in excess or who do a mixed weight-loss and exercise regimen.

For individuals who are overweight and overweight people might consider taking a protein supplement. Others have concerns about potential side effects. People who have diabetes may also decide that taking a protein supplement should be considered.

People with type 2 diabetes who have already been advised not to drink many calories might be concerned that taking