Popular Diet Not Effective in Losing Weight, Study Says

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. intermittent / ˌɪn tərˈmɪt nt / (adj) – not happening continuously

    According to the weather report, there will be intermittent rain today.

  2. fasting / ˈfɑːstɪŋ / (n) – an act in which one avoids eating for a certain period of time

    Fasting isn’t for everyone because some people feel sick if they don’t eat every few hours.

  3. to (one’s) heart’s content / tʊ hɑrts kənˈtent / (idiom) – to do something as much as one wants

    Cole’s parents are away this weekend, so he can play video games to his heart’s content.

  4. adverse / ˈæd vɜrs / (adj) – harmful, negative, or unfavorable

    The employee’s low motivation is having an adverse effect on his performance.

  5. complement / ˈkɒm pləˌmɛnt / (v) – to enhance or complete something

    The sauce perfectly complements the dish.


Read the text below.

A new study found that intermittent fasting, a diet method that involves eating only during certain hours of the day, does not have a significant impact on weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular dieting methods in the US. Many people who follow this diet usually skip breakfast and only take meals for an 8-hour period, often between noon and 8 p.m.

While previous data showed that intermittent fasting could lead to weight loss, most studies were only done on animals. This prompted researchers from the University of California San Francisco to investigate if the diet is really effective for humans.

In the study, the researchers gathered 116 overweight or obese participants and split them into two groups. Participants in the first group were instructed to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, while those in the second group were instructed to eat only between noon and 8 p.m. Both groups could eat to their hearts’ content, and exercising was optional.

After three months, the researchers found that there was no significant difference in the amount of weight lost by the two groups. However, results showed that the fasting group had lost more muscle compared to the other group. The researchers found this result concerning because losing muscle may have adverse effects on people’s health.

Some dietary experts find the study’s results questionable. According to them, the study was too short to see significant weight loss among the participants. They also pointed out that intermittent fasting should be complemented by other diets to be effective.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• After reading the article, do you think people who do intermittent fasting should stop this diet? Why or why not?
• What other popular diets should researchers study (e.g. ketogenic diet, vegan diet)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What do you think people should consider when trying out a new diet (e.g. compatibility of the diet with their bodies, how much they can commit to the diet)? Explain.
• Do you think people should focus more on dieting or exercising? Explain.