Context: Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system, is receivingincreasing attention worldwide.
Objective: A retrospective study was conducted to determine the effectiveness ofAyurvedic constitution-based diets on weight loss patterns of obese adults. DESIGN, SETTING, SUBJECTS, AND INTERVENTION: Records of 200 obese adults, both male and female, who had completed 3 months of the diet therapy at Ayurvedic clinics, were examined and data collated. Techniques used included a checklist of personality traits, physical signs, and food likes and dislikes to determine the dosha. Based on the predominant doshas, diets were prescribed and closely monitored for a period of 3 months.
Outcome measures: Records of height and weight and chest, abdominal, waist, arm, and thigh circumferences noted initially and after each month for the period of 3 months were obtained.
Results: Among the 200 subjects, 55 (27.5%) were vatta-, 83 (41.5%) were pitta-, and 62 (31.0%) were kapha-predominant. At the beginning, kapha and pitta people were heavier than vatta people. After the 3 months of therapy, the pitta group lost the most weight (9.84%). The decrease in all the anthropometric measurements was higher in pitta and kapha people than in vatta individuals. Hence, diets based on Ayurvedic constitution may prove useful in promoting weight loss. Though these promising findings support traditional Indian Ayurvedic scriptures, more closely controlled trials are needed to substantiate these findings.