LONDON — There is no convincing proof that high protein, low carbohydrate diets bring about long-term weight loss, and indeed, they may even be harmful to health, warns the American Heart Association (AHA) in advisory notice in October 9 Circulation. But whether the official line will mitigate the popularity of such diets remains to be seen.

Over half the population of the United States is either overweight or clinically obese, and the United Kingdom appears to be facing a similar problem. Since excess body weight is linked to a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and some forms of cancer, there's an urgent need to find effective ways of weight reduction.

While pharmaceutical approaches, such as orlistat, may turn out to be helpful, many of those concerned about weight turn to dietary manipulation to address the problem. It is widely agreed that creating an...

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