Does it matter what diet you use, to lose weight? In a recent article, the low-carb skeptics Kevin Hall and Yoni Freedhoff argue that it doesn’t really matter.
And if low-carb diets happen to cause more weight loss in study after study, that extra weight loss surely isn’t large enough to matter either.
If it all reminds you of a certain Fox in Aesop’s fables, you’re not that far off. For some more detail, check out this new rebuttal from Professor Grant Schofield:
While ignoring all 19+ studies showing significantly more weight loss on low carb might save Freedhoff and Hall some cognitive dissonance, it’s hardly going to advance the scientific field. Neither is it likely to help anyone lose any weight at all.
The TL;DR version is that they’re taking the long-term average outcome of people – when most are not adhering long term – as evidence of a modest effect for the intervention.
But they would get the same result from interventions to get people to stop smoking. When most people relapse (at least the first time they try quitting) the average health effect would be modest. Would they then draw the same conclusion, that trying to get people to stop smoking was nothing to bother with, even if it did show a significant positive effect?