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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Family Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Herman

Abstract

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 39% of adults aged 18 years and over are overweight.1 In every aspect of medicine, clinicians encounter adult obesity and the health risks associated with being overweight. Although obesity is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, it remains undertreated in primary care. The recommended initial intervention is increased exercise, improved diet, and implementing lifestyle modifications. There are several approaches to weight loss through dieting, including adding or restricting fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Recent dieting trends show that the traditional elements of a healthy meal seem to have lost their standing in the food pyramid. Without medical consultation, overweight and obese patients engage in popular eating habits that include ketogenic diets, very-low-carbohydrate diets, high-protein diets, and high-fat diets. The most popular are the ketogenic diet or very-low-carbohydrate diet and low-fat diets. The risks, benefits, and health effects associated with implementing unhealthy restrictive diets are not clear. However, a ketogenic diet appears safe and more effective in promoting weight loss and decreasing comorbidity when properly implemented. Family medicine and other primary care providers may be unfamiliar with applying or managing untraditional measures to affect weight loss, including a very low-carbohydrate diet. This article aims to inform health care professionals of the current recommendations regarding a ketogenic or a very-low-carbohydrate diet and a low-fat diet when treating obesity. The content will focus on the benefits, health risks, and weight loss outcomes associated with each.

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