Nav: Home

Dieting? Studies weigh in on opportunities and risks

June 01, 2020

Many of us are eating differently during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some are taking the stay-at-home lifestyle as an opportunity to work on weight loss goals. Get the latest research findings on fad diets, losing weight and healthful eating at NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference featuring leading nutrition experts from around the world.


Dieting risks

Is your weight loss diet giving you enough nutrients?

Micronutrients are important for keeping your body healthy and warding off disease. In a year-long randomized controlled trial, researchers found that 54 people following one of two diets--a low-carbohydrate diet or a high-fiber, bean-rich diet--showed similar results in terms of weight loss but were deficient in some micronutrients. While nutrient content varied between the two diets, participants in both groups consumed less than the recommended daily amount of vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and copper.

Neal G. Malik, California State University, is the presenting author. This research will be presented as a


When healthy eating becomes an obsession

A new study suggests weight-loss diets may go hand-in-hand with orthorexia nervosa, a potentially damaging obsession with healthy eating. An internet survey of more than 400 college students found more than three-quarters of respondents who reported following a weight loss diet also showed signs of orthorexia, compared to less than 40% among those who were not dieting. Those following a weight loss diet also showed a much higher risk for other eating disorders.

Zhiping Yu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the presenting author. This research will be presented as a


Looking beyond food

Can gut microbes help--or hinder--weight loss?

While the microbes living in and on our bodies play a big role in our health, little is known about how they influence weight loss efforts. New research suggests that the type of bacteria in a person's gut may help predict their likelihood of weight-loss success. Out of 36 people participating in a six-month weight loss program, the 12 participants who succeeded in losing the targeted amount of weight (5% weight loss) showed lower concentrations of certain bacteria and higher concentrations of others at baseline compared to participants who did not lose weight. The findings suggest gut microbes may influence weight loss by affecting how the body processes food, researchers say.

Moira K. Differding, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is the presenting author. This research will be presented as a


Exercise brings no weight loss boost compared to diet alone

A study involving 383 overweight adults found that following a calorie-restricted diet resulted in roughly the same amount of weight loss regardless of a person's level of physical activity. After one year of limiting their intake to 1,200-1,800 calories per day, participants lost just over 20 pounds on average, but the amount of weight lost was not significantly different among participants who exercised an average of 1.5 hours per week compared to those exercising nearly 4 hours per week. The researchers also found that participants' level of physical activity did not affect their ability to keep their calorie and fat consumption within bounds.

Carli A. Ligouri, University of Pittsburgh, is the presenting author. This research will be presented as a


Nutrition tech

How reliable are commercial nutrition apps?

Researchers examined how calories and nutrients are calculated in two commercial nutrition apps--CalorieKing and MyFitnessPal--compared to a reference database used by scientists, the University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR). Overall, the apps were similar to the NDSR in counting calories and nutrients for the 50 most commonly consumed foods, with a few exceptions. MyFitnessPal was less reliable in its assessment of total fat and fiber intake for all foods, and was especially unreliable when it came to calculating calories, carbohydrates and fiber content of fruits. This variability underscores the need to compare nutrition apps with validated data sources if they are to be used in research and practice, researchers say.

Annie W. Lin, Northwestern University, is the presenting author. This research will be presented as a


Personalized weight loss program does not bring added confidence

Researchers are exploring whether a weight loss diet can be made more effective by accounting for how a person's body responds to specific foods. Early results from the three-month data involving 75 participants suggest this personalized approach has no effect on how people perceive their ability to resist overeating compared to a one-size-fits-all diet. The researchers plan to continue the study to examine how a personalized diet might affect participants' confidence or actual weight loss in the longer term.

Lu Hu, New York University, is the presenting author. This research will be presented as a
-end-
Please note that abstracts presented at NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.

About NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE

NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE is a dynamic virtual event showcasing new research findings and timely discussions on food and nutrition. The online meeting, held June 1-4, 2020, is hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) with support from the ASN Foundation. ASN's flagship meeting, Nutrition 2020, was canceled due to the impacts of COVID-19.
https://meeting.nutrition.org #NutritionLiveOnline

About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice and education. http://www.nutrition.org

Find more news briefs and tipsheets at: https://www.eurekalert.org/meetings/nutrition/2020/newsroom/.

American Society for Nutrition

Related Nutrition Articles:

'Front of package' nutrition labels improved nutrition quality
A new study analyzing 16 years of data on tens of thousands of products finds that the adoption of nutrition data on ''front of package'' labels is associated with improved nutritional content of those foods and their competitors.
Aquaculture's role in nutrition in the COVID-19 era
A new paper from American University examines the economics of an aquaculture industry of the future that is simultaneously environmentally sustainable and nutritious for the nearly 1 billion people worldwide who depend on it.
Fathers are more likely to be referred for nutrition or exercise counseling
Fatherhood status has been linked to medical providers' weight-related practices or counseling referrals.
Refugee children get better health, nutrition via e-vouchers
Electronic food vouchers provided young Rohingya children in Bangladeshi refugee camps with better health and nutrition than direct food assistance, according to new research led by Cornell University, in conjunction with the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Leaders call for 'Moonshot' on nutrition research
Leading nutrition and food policy experts outline a bold case for strengthening federal nutrition research in a live interactive session as part of NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).
Featured research from NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE
Press materials are now available for NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a dynamic virtual event showcasing new research findings and timely discussions on food and nutrition.
Diet, nutrition have profound effects on gut microbiome
A new literature review from scientists at George Washington University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests that nutrition and diet have a profound impact on the microbial composition of the gut.
Are women getting adequate nutrition during preconception and pregnancy?
In a Maternal & Child Nutrition analysis of published studies on the dietary habits of women who were trying to conceive or were pregnant, most studies indicated that women do not meet nutritional recommendations for vegetable, cereal grain, or folate intake.
Supermarkets and child nutrition in Africa
Hunger and undernutrition are widespread problems in Africa. At the same time, overweight, obesity, and related chronic diseases are also on the rise.
Horse nutrition: Prebiotics do more harm than good
Prebiotics are only able to help stabilise the intestinal flora of horses to a limited degree.

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.