Radio National today had two reports on weight-loss. Both were very interesting, in particular the finding from research done by the Federal Government-funded National Health Institute.
Obesity research: policies and calculating weight loss
The links are to ABC podcasts. This first one is fascinating and talks about international efforts to cure the Western obesity epidemic, which, according to studies is not due to the television or lack of exercise but mostly due to the sudden appearance of energy dense processed foods beginning from the 1960's.
There is also discussion on how the old way of calculating weight-loss via Daily Energy Requirement and an Energy Deficit is misleading and actually needs to be constantly adjusted to avoid the dreaded "plateaux".
Weight loss and appetite control
The second podcast (originally aired this morning back to back with the first) continues from the first and describes results of some recent dieting studies.
* The popular wisdom of cutting back a few hundred Kjs a week by removing one item of food such as a scone or beer each day was found to work VERY slowly. ie results start to appear after about THREE YEARS! Fascinating, but understandable when explained.
* The Plateau and Yo-Yo-ing was also explained, and it was stated quite strongly that "diets" do not wrk, and the only proven way to lose a lot of weight and KEEP it off, was to do it slowly.
* Fast initial weight-loss was also looked at, as well as the minor role exercise plays, ie it's good for maintenance and in conjunction with calorie-restriction, but on it's own it is ineffective in the long term.
Absolutely fascinating and well worth downloading and listening to.