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Study of obese diabetics explains why low-carb diets produce fast results

(Philadelphia) A new study by Temple University School of Medicine researchers has shown why the pounds melt so quickly on low-carbohydrate diets, and it's not related to water, metabolism or boredom. The research was conducted in a group of obese patients with type 2 diabetes who followed the Atkins diet.

According to lead researcher, Guenther Boden, M.D., "When carbohydrates were restricted, study subjects spontaneously reduced their caloric intake to a level appropriate for their height, did not compensate by eating more protein or fat, and lost weight. We concluded that excessive overeating had been fueled by carbohydrates."

Almost 80 percent of diabetics are overweight or obese, compounding health risks such as heart disease and stroke. Boden wanted to examine how low-carbohydrate diets, which have been shown to produce rapid weight loss, affected weight, appetite and blood sugar in obese diabetics.

He discovered that study subjects did not eat less because they were bored with the food selection, and their weight loss was not attributable to water loss, two common speculations about low-carb diets. Further, weight loss could not be explained by a change in metabolism, another popular misconception.

The study, "Short-Term Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diet Compared with Usual Diet in Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes," is published in the March 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. It is the only study of the Atkins diet to have been conducted in the strictly controlled environment of a clinical research center where every calorie eaten and spent was measured.

After a week of typical eating, ten obese patients with type 2 diabetes followed the Atkins diet for two weeks, with carbohydrates limited to 20 grams per day and unlimited protein and fat.

"When we took away the carbohydrates, the patients spontaneously reduced their daily energy consumption by 1,000 calories a day. Although they could have, they did not comp
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Contact: Eryn Jelesiewicz
dobeck@temple.edu
215-707-0730
Temple University
14-Mar-2005


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