Dietary approaches to the treatment of obesity

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2011 Dec;34(4):813-27. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2011.08.004.


Various dietary strategies can effectively reduce weight, as shown by this review. Those that are coupled with behavior therapy and ongoing support tend to produce longer lasting effects. Improvements in health parameters are observed with each dietary strategy. Improvements in diabetes and CVD risk factors have been observed with diets ranging from 10% fat to 45% fat. HP diets seem to be particularly effective in reducing fat mass and TAG, especially in individuals with dyslipidemia and who are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Likewise, LC diets have been shown to be effective in decreasing TAG and VLDL and increasing HDL. Although low-GI diets do not seem to be superior to any other diet for weight loss, there is evidence to suggest that they may provide some metabolic benefit for those with type 2 diabetes. Clearly, all of these diets have benefits but they can be realized only when they are followed. A common theme across studies is poor long-term adherence and weight regain. Dansinger and colleagues found a strong association between diet adherence and clinically significant weight loss, suggesting that “sustained adherence to a diet” rather than “following a certain type of diet” is the key to successful weight management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Body Composition
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Diet Fads
  • Diet Therapy / methods*
  • Diet Therapy / trends
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Patient Compliance
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome