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Thursday September 14 07:31 AM EDT
Study Will Examine Popular Diets
Participants Needed In NEMC Study

The search for the perfect diet has almost become a national pastime, but, with so many fad diets on the market, the question remains: Do any these popular diets really work?

A new study by Boston researchers will attempt to answer that question. NewsCenter 5's Heather Kahn reports that the study will compare four of the most popular diet plans, including the Atkins Diet, the Ornish Diet, the Zone Diet and the Weight Watchers Diet.

"We picked four diets that we felt would represent the whole spectrum of popular diet plans," Dr. Michael Dansinger of New England Medical Center said.

The study will include 160 overweight people with a history of diabetes, plus either high blood pressure or high cholesterol. They will randomly be assigned to one of the diets.

"Not only are we looking at weight loss, we're looking at fasting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, blood sugar and a few other important markers of disease," Dansinger said.

Study participant Myldria Clark, who is diabetic, said that she hopes the study will help her find a plan that works.

"I'll go so far, and then I'll slip, she said. "So I thought this might be an excellent program because it was monitored, and these diets are purported to lower the blood sugar, even the craving for the sugar."

The study will track body weight, blood sugar and blood pressure over a two-month period.

"Many of these plans are controversial, they're radical and if they really do work, I think they force us doctors and the whole country to take a second look at our beliefs about how diets work and whether they are good for our health," Dansinger said.

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