Less fat 'easy way' to lose weight

BRONWYN TORRIE
Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012
Kath Fouhy
CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
FAT CHANCE: Kath Fouhy, a dietitian, with 19 teaspoons of cooking spread, representing the average daily fat intake for New Zealand men.

Relevant offers

Health

Government disability strategy up for discussion at Marlborough workshop New mum diagnosed with cancer after being refused a colonoscopy Sick Kiwis used in PR campaign to win public cash from Pharmac Kiwi mums offered hope after in utero spina bifida surgery breakthrough Stroke victim 'ignored' by doctor has lost most of his vision in one eye All Whites great Steve Sumner urges men to 'get tested' as his own cancer spreads Asbestos demolition site outside Wellington school Healthcare: Out of reach - Cyril Edwards sleeps on floor because he can't get surgery Publicly-funded surgery granted days after Doug Pike sold his house to pay for surgery New Plymouth nurse lied about aggravated robbery conviction to gain practising certificate

Cutting back fat in your diet means you can lose weight and keep it off, even if you are not trying to slim down, according to research that will shape new global nutrition guidelines.

The international research, which included a Kiwi professor, was commissioned by the World Health Organisation.

Findings will be used to set recommendations on fat consumption. The ideal proportion of total fat in the human diet is currently unclear.

Calorie-dense diets are contributing to the growing obesity epidemic in western countries. People are not necessarily eating more, but they are eating foods that have higher calories.

Although "it may be difficult for populations to reduce total fat intake, attempts should be made to do so, to help control weight", researchers said.

New Zealand is the third fattest country in the OECD and two-thirds of the population are either overweight or obese.

These people are at a higher risk of many cancers, coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The research involved reviewing dozens of studies and trials, which compared people who ate low-fat diets and those who stuck to their normal eating regime.

People who ate less fat lost about 1.6 kilograms in six months.

They also saw their waistlines shrink, blood pressure drop and levels of bad cholesterol decrease.

Otago University human nutrition Professor Murray Skeaff co-authored the report, which was published in the British Medical Journal yesterday.

"It's reinforcing the message that cutting down on fat is actually a good thing."

Prof Skeaff said people should be aware that many "low-fat" foods were laden with sugar, which counteracted any gains made by reducing fat intake.

Prof Skeaff said cutting back on saturated fats would also reduce the risk of heart disease.

Researchers reviewed data from 10 cohort studies and 33 randomised controlled trials, involving 73,589 adults and children from New Zealand, America and Europe. Those taking part had varying states of health.

Measurements taken at six months found that people who ate less fat lost 1.6kg, reduced their waist circumference by 0.5 centimetres and decreased their body mass index.

The weight loss happened quickly and was maintained over at least seven years.

All these effects were in trials in which weight loss was not the intended outcome, suggesting that they occur in people with normal diets.

Ad Feedback

Additional trials were needed to examine the effect of reducing fat intake on body weight in developing countries as well as in children, researchers said.

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should fluoride in water be the responsibility of central government?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content