Health experts have been saying it for years: Don't fall for fad diets to lose weight--stick to traditional weight loss plans. And now a Harvard study confirms this advice. About two-thirds of obese Americans try to lose weight, and those who successfully meet this goal do so mainly through the old-fashioned approach of eating less, choosing healthier foods, and exercising more.

Analyzing data from the 2001-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included 4,021 obese adults, researchers found that among those attempting to lose weight, 40 percent of the subjects lost five percent of body weight, and 20 percent lost 10 percent of body weight.

Strategies linked with losing weight included eating less fat, exercising more, joining commercial weight loss programs, and using prescription weight loss medications. The participants who relied on diet products, liquid diets, nonprescription diet pills, and popular diets did not experience successful weight loss.

Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC.

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