U.S. prefers low-fat diet to low-carb diet

Aug. 18, 2012 at 12:58 AM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Sixty-three percent of U.S. adults say a diet low in fat is healthiest, while 30 percent say a diet low in carbohydrates is healthiest, a survey says.

Despite traditional medical advice to reduce consumption of foods high in fat, recent research suggests a low-carb diet boosts overall energy expenditure -- meaning low-carb dieters are burning more calories per day than their low-fat counterparts, Gallup officials said.

However, many experts are undecided on which diet is most beneficial, reminding dieters the main focus is not the character and content of the diet, but the amount of calories reduced, the officials said.

Thirty-seven percent of non-whites, versus 28 percent of whites, were more likely to say the low-carb diet was better for the average American. Thirty-six percent of women favored this type of diet compared with 24 percent of the men.

Thirty-four percent of U.S. adults who said they were overweight were more likely to say a low-carb diet was the healthier option, while 28 percent of those who considered their weight to be "about right" preferred low-carb. Sixty-six percent of those in the "about right" group picked the low-fat diet, while 59 percent of their overweight counterparts went with low-fat as the best choice.

These differences aside, both groups prefer the low-fat diet by significant margins, Gallup said.

The Gallup telephone poll of 1,014 U.S. adults was conducted July 9-12 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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