n South African Medical Journal - Noakes misses the point : correspondence

Volume 103, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



We are writing to point out inaccuracies in Professor Noakes' critique of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial of dietary modification. Difficult as it may be for proponents of low carbohydrate, high fat diets to accept, it is an inconvenient truth that the findings from the WHI trial negate their thesis that diets higher in carbohydrates and lower in fats lead to obesity and insulin resistance and increase diabetes risk. Instead, the lower fat diet rigorously tested in a large number of participants in the WHI led to less weight gain, improved insulin resistance (at 1 year), and no increase in diabetes risk compared with the control diet. Diabetes risk appeared to be reduced proportionately to decreases in fat intake and weight. These findings are in agreement with findings from the Diabetes Prevention Trial (of people with pre-diabetes treated with a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet plus exercise) that reduction in diabetes risk was proportional to reduction in fat intake and weight loss.

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