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Dietary prescriptions for the overweight patient: the potential benefits of low-carbohydrate diets in insulin resistance


Dr Michael W. Lee, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Scripps Clinic, 12395 El Camino Real, Ste 317, San Diego 92130, CA, USA.


Obesity in the USA continues to be a medical problem of epidemic proportions, affecting one-third of American adults. This increase in body weight and body mass index (BMI) is a risk factor for insulin resistance; individuals with insulin resistance are at increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The identification of effective dietary treatments (e.g. low-carbohydrate diet, low-fat diet) for patient populations with insulin resistance remains controversial. While a variety of dietary approaches will result in weight and cardiac risk factor reduction, individuals who have been identified as insulin-resistant may derive additional short-term weight loss results from a low-carbohydrate diet compared to a low-fat diet.