The diet came out on top when it was compared with the Zone, the Ornish and the LEARN low-carb diets.
In all, 311 overweight or obese women were randomly put on one of the four diets to discover which was the most effective over 12 months.
Women on the Atkins diet lost on average 4.7kg (10.4lbs), the LEARN diet group lost on average 2.6kg (5.7lbs), the Ornish dieters lost 2.2kg (4.8lbs), and the Zone diet group lost an average of 1.6kg (3.5lbs).
The researchers, from Stanford University, also dispelled concerns that the Atkins diet was unhealthy and increased the risk of heart problems. After blood tests on the women, they concluded that a diet that was rich in saturated fats didn't affect blood lipid levels.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 297: 969-77).
E-news broadcast 8 March 2007 No.340 [Subscribe]