Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter
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Diet, Drugs and Surgery for Weight Loss

Adults with a body mass index (BMI=kg/m2) of 25-<30 are considered overweight; those with a BMI of ≥30 are considered obese.


One pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories. Adults can lose 1-2 lbs (0.45-0.9 kg) of fat per week by consuming 500-1000 fewer calories per day.

COMPARATIVE TRIALS — A randomized 1-year trial in 311 non-diabetic overweight or obese premenopausal women (mean age 41; mean BMI 32) compared the Atkins, Zone, Ornish and LEARN diets. The only significant difference in weight loss was between the Atkins and Zone diets (4.7 vs. 1.6 kg, respectively).1

A randomized 2-year trial in 811 overweight adults compared 4 diets with the same degree of caloric restriction, but with different proportions of protein, fat and carbohydrate. There were no significant differences in weight loss between any of the 4 ... more      

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