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Diet Roundup

April 27, 2007

Have you ever dieted, just to gain the weight back again? That may be because diets just don’t work.


Does dieting work? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

After analyzing 31 long-term studies looking at people who went on diets to lose weight, researchers from UCLA report that diets simply don’t work. While dieters reduced their weight by five to ten percent, they nearly all gained it back—and then some. The researchers suspect that exercise may be the key factor in effective weight loss and will be studying that next.

In other news, researchers report in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior that fashion—whether it’s music, clothes or baby names—changes at a predictable rate. Their computer model assumes fewer than two percent of the population comes up with new ideas that everyone else copies. The model correctly predicted fashion turnover in top 40 records, most popular dog breeds, and other preferences. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.