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Dietary Fat and Obesity
Fat in Food Does Not Play Major Role in Excessive Body Fat
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Dietary Fat & Obesity

Dietary Fat Does Not Play Major Role in Obesity

The percentage of dietary energy from fat has been suggested to be an important determinant of body fat, and this presumed effect has been invoked to justify the general promotion of low-fat diets. Dietary fat and the prevalence of obesity are lower in poor countries than in affluent countries. However, these contrasts are seriously confounded by differences in physical activity and food availability; within areas of similar economic development, per capita intake of fat and the prevalence of obesity have not been positively correlated. In short-term trials, a small reduction in body weight is typically seen in individuals randomized to diets with a lower percentage of calories from fat. In a meta-analysis of these trials, it was estimated that a decrease in 10 percent of energy from fat would reduce weight by 9-kg by 18 months. However, compensatory mechanisms appear to operate because in trials lasting one year or longer, fat consumption within the range of 18-40 percent of energy has consistently had little, if any, effect on body fat mass.

Source: Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass. 2003

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Weight Loss & Obesity Reduction
The science of weight loss and weight management is constantly evolving, along with research into diet modification, types of gastrointestinal weight loss surgery and weight loss drugs. At present, however, a balanced diet plan combined with a regular fitness program remains the favored weight control strategy of most weight loss experts.

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