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Atkins-style diets leads to long-term weight gain and early death, 'obliviobesity' on the rise, and head to the hills to lose weight

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

As the country wakes up to the weighty results of the election, our nationals have followed suit with an smorgasbord of obesity themed headlines. We start off with one in the eye for fad dieters as the Telegraph reports new research showing popular high protein, low carbohydrate diets increase risk of weight gain long-term.

Spanish researchers followed 7,447 Mediterranean adults age 50 to 88 and also found increased risk of death when protein replaced carbs (59%) or fat (66%).

Lead researcher Dr Jordi Salas-Salvado, of Rovira i Virgili University in Reus, Spain, said: ‘At the moment, no evidence supports the use of high-protein diets as a strategy to lose weight long-term.’

A rising number of parents have ‘obliviobesity’ according to one Yale researcher who coined the term for those apparently blind to their child’s weight, the Mail reports.

Dr David Katz, writing in the journal Childhood Obesity, points to a recent study in the British Journal of General Practice which found one third of parents were consistently underestimating their child’s weight, and said that the problem stems from a changing sense of what’s normal as childhood obesity rises.

Dr Katz writes: ‘Parental obliviousness bedevils our responses to rampant childhood obesity in ways that are largely self-evident. Whether or not knowledge is reliably power, denial and delusion are reliably disempowering.’

And finally avoiding weight gain could be as easy as heading for the hills, as researchers found that people living at altitude are 13% less likely to be obese or overweight.

The Independent reports  that study recruited 9,300 students of healthy weight and followed them for eight and a half years on average, their post codes were divided across three altitudes low ((below 124m above sea level), medium (124m – 456m) and high (above 456m).

More than 2,000 of the participants became overweight, but those at high altitude were 13% less likely than those at low, even when adjusted for age and exercise levels. Researchers suggested the effect could be linked to appetite reduction caused by the hormone leptin, which is produced under hypoxic conditions.

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