Dash diet best overall in new rankings

Trying to shed excess weight, lower high blood pressure or combat diabetes? The best personal diet depends on the goals trying to be achieved, according to a new ranking.

For dropping those extra pounds Weight Watchers ranked No. 1 in the ratings by US News & World Report, followed closely by Jenny Craig and the Raw Food Diet, while the Dash diet was deemed best overall diet, with the Mediterranean Diet coming in second.

"Our analysis put hard numbers on the common-sense belief that no diet is ideal for everybody," the magazine said on its website.

"The Dash (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet beat out 19 others, among them Atkins, Jenny Craig and Slim-Fast, to win the 'Best Diets Overall,'" it added.

The study

Researchers looked and compiled profiles on 20 diets, which were reviewed by a panel of 22 experts in diet and nutrition, diabetes and heart disease.

The rankings were based on scores in seven categories - short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss, easiness to follow, nutritional completeness, ability to prevent or manage diabetes and to manage heart disease.

Each diet was also judged in five categories including best overall diet, best commercial diet plan, best weight-loss, best diabetes diet and best heart-healthy diet.

Dash also came out first for the best diabetes diet, followed by the Mayo Clinic diet, while the Ornish Diet captured the top spot for heart-healthy diets with the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) diet coming in second.

"Exercise gets serious attention in some diets and lip service in others, but the primary focus of a diet, after all, is food. Whether to exercise, how, and how much is a lifestyle decision beyond the scope of a mere diet," the magazine added.

About 34 % of US adults aged 20 and over are overweight and an equal number are obese, according to 2007-2008 figures from the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention. (Reuters Health)

Read more: 
Are you overweight?
The Dash diet
Go the Mediterranean route

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