America's Obesity Crisis:How Do the Diets Stack Up?

If you are shopping for a diet book, you have dozens to choose from. Any of them will help you lose weight if you stick to the plan, but the theories behind them vary widely. A sampling:

VERY LOW CARB Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution

WHAT YOU DO During the diet's initial phase, eat unlimited meat and fat, but no more than 20 g of carbs a day, or about one slice of bread

DON'TS For the first 14 days, no fruit, bread, pasta, grains, milk or even ketchup. You'll add a few carbs back later

THE CLAIM Low-carb levels trigger a state of ketosis, forcing your body to burn fat for energy

BOTTOM LINE Short-term studies show the diet leads to weight loss, but long-term health effects are unknown. A 53-year-old man sued the Atkins estate last...

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