Weight loss studies: More studies, fewer headlines

Weight loss and intermittent fasting: More studies, fewer headlines

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A controversial recent study with new headlines regarding weight loss in the national forum.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a recent study using 139 patients in China that reportedly found no significance statistically for intermittent fasting for 8 hours, and this was taken on by major news outlets including Yahoo! News, CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC and was picked up by their writers as another fad diet.

I agree that using an 8-hour intermittent fasting diet will not give anyone long-term results, but I’m afraid I have to disagree with the national news headlines.

Reviewing the data and the specifics of the study would give one much better insight into its findings. Most importantly, the study was flawed as statistical significance in the small sample population would require a weight loss of greater than 15% per individual in a short period which is unachievable and likely not desired. This shows this study was engineered to fail. Whoever funded this study in China wanted to influence our national headlines.

My main concern is that Chinese patients do not reflect American patients in any demographic. Furthermore, the study found that patients on an eight-hour intermittent fasting schedule lost 1.8 kg of weight compared to patients who did not do intermittent fasting. Still, it was not enough to determine statistically significant results.

Interestingly a 16% change in fasting time increased weight loss by 29% over 12 months. Yet, our major news networks wanted to claim this as a fad diet.

We need to have more studies in this realm, and our office proposes doing just that with the aid of our new Fit3D machine, which accurately measures body fat percentage and BMI and weight. Health improvement should focus on decreasing body fat percentage, which is associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.

In our office, we have seen tremendous results by using intermittent fasting as one tool in our armamentarium to help patients lose weight and keep it off. I believe our research into intermittent fasting for the reversal of obesity may paint the way for a future with decreased obesity rates for all patients. Motivated patients willing to make necessary changes in their lifestyle to achieve more excellent health can reverse type 2 diabetes, the hld and reduce their risks for chronic medical conditions. We offer comprehensive, medically monitored weight loss for all patients.

Please call our office to learn more about how your health can be optimized.

Dr. Kern Brar is a board-certified internal medicine physician and partner at Tri-City Primary Care. He lives in North County and has helped hundreds of patients lose weight with medically monitored weight loss and a natural approach to health. To learn more call 760-940-7000. Read more “Healthy Living” sponsored columns.

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