Calories Are Important? Whaaaat????
Hate to be the cold shower on the ADA’s rock hard scientific discovery here, but didn’t we know that calories affect weight loss? Did anyone besides the ADA need a study to confirm it??
The study started slightly more interesting than where it ended. The American Diabetes Association conducted a two-year study to see if a low-fat, high carb 1500 calorie diet versus a low-fat, high-protein 1500 calorie diet impacted weight loss for people with type II diabetes. Researchers tracked lipid panels, blood pressure, A1C results, weight, and waist circumference at 6, 12, in 24 months.
Some lipid panel results varied during the study.
No significant differences recorded between the two groups at the conclusion of the study.
No matter what type of diet you prefer, it’s the total number of calories you consume that matters most.”
WTH? This bugs me.
- Really? That’s your big conclusion? Two years. How many researchers and participants?
- Would if kill you to clarify? The study says “high carb diet” and fails to explain what constituted it. This could mislead readers and promote the thought, “Awesome, I can lose weight, keep my blood pressure and cholesterol healthy eating bread, cereal, and reduced fat potato chips as long as I only eat 1500 cal a day. Score!” At least specify whole-grains ADA…do you guys need a refresher course here?
- Sugar – blind trust is over-rated. Look where labels got us – now that the FDA requires them, my how food has changed. What did we pop in our mouths before? (Whisper that quietly to yourself.) A low fat, high carb diet could potentially contain high amounts of sugar, which would affect overall health, and the ability for many people to lose weight. Again, the way they wrote the synopsis it could mislead people to think, “I can eat candy and other low fat, sugar-containing/refined carb foods as long as I only eat 1500 calories.”
- It ain’t all the same. Understanding what participants ate is just as important to their overall health as it is to their weight loss. Sure, you can eat 1500 calories of refined carbs from bread, cereal, tortillas, etc. or of complex carbs – from whole grains, veggies and fruits and lose weight either way. You may see similar blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol numbers in a study today, but I guarantee that a large number of participants will live a different level of health down the line…but, hey, where’s that study????
- You conduct it, you explain it. The ADA started on the right foot focused on overall health and numbers, but then made its conclusion a very general statement that focused on weight loss only – at least in this report. Perhaps they failed to explain their study accurately. If so, shame on them. This is how people misinterpret studies and misuse information, and take it out of context to suit themselves. Not okay. You conduct the study, it’s your job to explain it and report on it with accuracy.
- Try a study that counts. Why not track the permanence of these health shifts in each group? Did participants experience more ease sustaining one diet over the other as a live-able change? Whether one diet is more sustainable or not could be a relevant study because it could help weight-gaining Americans shift their lives. Don’t write up a conclusion that it makes no difference which diet you eat without the details of the diets when overweight Americans look for ways to avoid improving their health. Plus, you’re leaving out one of the most critical components of weight loss – sustainability! HELLO! Does anyone else see the common sense of this or am I alone here?
Is this study relevant? All people benefit from a balanced diet of whole grains, lean proteins, good fats, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, within appropriate caloric and fat ranges for our sizes and ages. If you feel better when you eat more whole grains and less protein – eat more complex carbs. As long as you stay within your caloric and fat range, you should maintain a healthy weight. And the same principal holds true if you feel better when you eat more protein than complex carbs.
We knew before the study that caloric intake holds a critical key to weight loss – that’s why food plans are based on that count. Not complicated, it’s basic math. There are different caloric counters online – no need to do it by hand anymore. Physical fitness experts updated the formula – I like the ones that factor in exercise, like this one. You can check out others. Compare the results and see what works for you.
My Bottom Line
- I expect more from the ADA
- Conduct studies that count
- Give us info we don’t have
The government exhausts me with studies set up to prove what we know to be true through experience and common sense simply to satisfy the need for scientific proof. When is it too much? When does the need for scientific data thwart efforts to move forward and answer more important questions? And so what if we proved the obvious with data, when we fail to research the right questions?
I appreciate the ADA’s efforts, but the report of its study in no way reveals anything new and fails to explain critical details that might give it the significance it lacks. But hey – maybe next time. We’ll look forward to the next study.