I enjoy unraveling the discordant notes between the headline and the story. This one is fascinating. The Article in the Times Live out of South Africa is such an example. It is entitled: Low-carb kick does not last, Katharine Child, 25 April, 2016. 

Naturally it’s featured picture is that of Professor Tim Noakes. A previous blog post indicated how he is being prosecuted – in part – for his advocacy of Low Carb eating.

The Article reviewed a study that was published in the British journal Diabetic Medicine. This was not original research but an examination of over “153 studies of diabetic patients eating either low-carb or high-carb diets to see which one was better in helping control blood sugar.

Only 12 studies met their criteria of being randomised control studies in which two groups of diabetic people on different diets were followed and compared for four weeks or longer. Dieters also had to report what they ate at the end of their study.

But researchers found no difference in blood sugar control between low-carb and high-carb dieters – possibly because low-carb dieters did not exist.

Say again – “possibly because low-carb dieters did not exist.”

What? They found that the underlying studies were not consistent in defining low carb dieters. But rather than concluding that the studies were not valid and no conclusion could be drawn, they concluded that:

[The] research showed strict low-carb diets might not be attainable because even dieters taking part in a study who visited a dietician 18 times over six months did not stick to their diet all of the time.

So their conclusion went off on a tangent:

The study concluded that calorie intake – energy, food and drinks consumed – was the best predictor of body weight.

Their underlying bias prevented them from coming to any other conclusion. After all – they established their thesis in the opening paragraph quoting a guy who had lost weight on a Low Carb diet and gained it back.

Capetonian Peter Venn lost 22kg on a low-carbohydrate diet in 2014. Then he started eating carbohydrates again and regained the weight.

He said friends and colleagues usually quit their low-carbohydrate diets within three weeks.

A new study supports Venn’s observation: few people adhere to low-carb diets for up to six months.

Let’s just ignore the fact that- an overwhelming percentage of dieters – no matter what the diet regain their lost weight – as I have done many times. Note this quick cite from LiveStong.

Nearly 65 percent of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years, according to Gary Foster, Ph.D., clinical director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Still – there are many of us who have lost the weight by eating Very Low Carb – Normal Protein – High Fat and kept it off over the long run by continuing to eat that way.