Comparison of dietary macronutrient patterns of 14 popular named dietary programmes for #weight and cardiovascular risk factor reduction in adults: systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised trials

..Compared with usual diet, low carbohydrate and low fat diets had a similar effect at six months on weight loss (4.63 v 4.37 kg, both moderate certainty) and reduction in systolic blood pressure (5.14 mm Hg, moderate certainty v 5.05 mm Hg, low certainty) and diastolic blood pressure (3.21 v 2.85 mm Hg, both low certainty). Moderate macronutrient diets resulted in slightly less weight loss and blood pressure reductions. Low carbohydrate diets had less effect than low fat diets and moderate macronutrient diets on reduction in LDL cholesterol (1.01 mg/dL, low certainty v 7.08 mg/dL, moderate certainty v 5.22 mg/dL, moderate certainty, respectively) but an increase in HDL cholesterol (2.31 mg/dL, low certainty), whereas low fat (−1.88 mg/dL, moderate certainty) and moderate macronutrient (−0.89 mg/dL, moderate certainty) did not.

Among popular named diets, those with the largest effect on weight reduction and blood pressure in comparison with usual diet were Atkins (weight 5.5 kg, systolic blood pressure 5.1 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure 3.3 mm Hg), DASH (3.6 kg, 4.7 mm Hg, 2.9 mm Hg, respectively), and Zone (4.1 kg, 3.5 mm Hg, 2.3 mm Hg, respectively) at six months (all moderate certainty). No diets significantly improved levels of HDL cholesterol or C reactive protein at six months. Overall, weight loss diminished at 12 months among all macronutrient patterns and popular named diets, while the benefits for cardiovascular risk factors of all interventions, except the Mediterranean diet, essentially disappeared.

Conclusions Moderate certainty evidence shows that most macronutrient diets, over six months, result in modest weight loss and substantial improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, particularly blood pressure. At 12 months the effects on weight reduction and improvements in cardiovascular risk factors largely disappear.

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