Scientists dispel the most popular myths about weight loss

A recent study has shown that some popular recommendations for those wishing to lose weight actually not as effective.

Scientists decided to test empirically whether the reality of the popular myths about obesity. In the end it turned out that it is absolutely incorrect and unfounded ideas about this phenomenon prevail in both scientific and popular literature.

Try to find some errors in judgment in the list:

  • Small changes in diet or exercise regime can lead to stable and long-lasting weight loss.
  • You need to set realistic goals.
  • Slow, gradual weight loss is better than a sharp and rapid weight loss.
  • Physical education classes can help prevent childhood obesity.
  • Breast-feeding is one of measures for the prevention of obesity.
  • During sexual intercourse you will burn 100 to 300 calories.

According to a study published 31 January in the New England Journal of Medicine, none of these claims can not be called fact as not supported by sufficient evidence.

The team that conducted the study consisted of scientists representing a broad range of areas associated with obesity, including dietetics, sports, health, Pediatrics and biostatistics. In the beginning, the researchers listed the myths associated with obesity, which is widely spread in society and has been associated with health issues. They then showed that these myths prevail in scientific papers and the press. Then they collected all the existing evidence for each myth, and based on this information, divided them into valid and invalid and those which are not found sufficient evidence.

Conclusive evidence of the myth was randomized controlled experiments – the gold standard of research – to prove or to disprove it. If the found studies was questionable, outdated, or was a simple observation, then the myth fell into the third category.

The list also included the myths about the necessity of Breakfast habits acquired in early childhood, values of fruits and vegetables, “effect yo-yo”, the snacks, and about the usefulness of walking.

The study showed that each of them was not enough randomized controlled experiments.

So, what can really help to lose weight?

Study author David Allison, Director of the research center on nutrition and obesity at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, stated that effective strategies are:

  • Treatment of obesity and weight loss by surgery for very overweight people;
  • Individual weight loss program;
  • Regular visits to the therapist, dietitian or coach;
  • Making your own list of foods that should or should not be given to a person;
  • Ready menu or shopping list.

Summing up, it should be noted that indisputable is the following statement: “Expend more energy than they consume, over a long period of time, and let this be your habit!”.

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