Patients prefer 5:2 diet information to standard weight-loss advice – study

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P

eople prefer information on the 5:2 diet than standard GP weight management advice despite both interventions achieving similar modest weight-loss results, a new study suggests.

The trial is the first randomised evaluation of the 5:2 diet, a popular type of intermittent fasting regime, researchers say.

The diet is a weight-loss method whereby people restrict their eating on two non-consecutive days a week and then apply sensible eating on the remaining days.

Over the course of a year, scientists studied the long-term effects of providing 5:2 diet instructions compared to traditional weight-loss advice in 300 UK adults with obesity.

We found that although the 5:2 diet wasn’t superior to traditional approaches in terms of weight loss, users preferred this approach as it was simpler and more attractive

They found that long-term weight loss was similar for those who received 5:2 diet or standard weight management advice.

Eighteen percent and 15% of participants, respectively, lost at least 5% of their body weight in one year.

According to the study, when asked to rate each intervention, those on the 5:2 diet were more likely to recommend it to others or continue with the regime.

Previous evidence suggests peer support could be important for encouraging dieters to adhere to and realise the effects of the 5:2 diet.

In order to test this, the researchers studied the impact of a weekly support group in addition to the simple advice.

They found that while face-to-face support initially generated better early effects and improved adherence to the 5:2 diet, these effects weakened over time.

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