"Studies have shown that even a 5 percent reduction in weight can lead to improved health," said Jacinda M. Nicklas, MD, the lead author of the study by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
A study of more than 4,000 adults found that those eating less fat and exercising more were much more likely to lose weight. Researchers also found a correlation between weight-loss programs and successful weight loss, suggesting that structure was important.
In contrast, use of popular diets, weight-loss pills, liquid diets, and the like were not associated with success.
"It's very encouraging to find that most of the weight-loss methods associated with success are accessible and inexpensive," said senior author Christina Wee, MD.
“More Exercise, Eating Less Fat and Weight Loss Programs Are In, Popular Diets Are Out,” Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 4/10/12