4/5 You have to eat like a champion, say experts Read more A diet of high protein, low fat and lots of vegetables can help you lose weight without affecting your appetite, according to a report from the American Dietetic Association.

For those with diabetes, a low-carbohydrate diet can help manage blood sugar, lower cholesterol and help prevent weight gain, the report said.

The association said a diet low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables, along with plenty of whole grains, can help reduce risk factors for heart disease, stroke and cancer.

For people who want to lose the pounds, a moderate amount of exercise, such as jogging, is important, but the report noted that weight loss alone will not be enough.

“It is not enough to just get on a diet and lose weight,” said study author Karen Coker, PhD, associate professor of clinical nutrition at Boston University.

“The main thing is eating healthy, eating a balanced diet, and staying active,” she said.

“I think the best advice for a person trying to lose body weight is to keep eating the right foods, get enough sleep, exercise and get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked every day.”

While the US population has gained more weight in recent years than at any time since the Great Depression, the US is not alone in its trend.

The trend has accelerated in recent decades, and experts are increasingly concerned that we are eating more processed foods and less healthy, whole foods.

In the UK, there is evidence that people are eating too many processed foods.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that a diet of processed food is associated with a 1.2kg (2.3lb) increase in body weight, a 10 per cent increase in waist circumference and a 4.5kg (11.4lb) rise in waist-to-hip ratio.

The study, which included 6,723 adults from four US cities, showed a 1kg (3lb), 3kg (7lb) reduction in waist and hip circumference was associated with greater weight loss.

The authors of the UK study, from the University of Bristol, said: “While we know that some people have a preference for one type of food over another, there are also many people who would prefer to eat their whole food diet, while they are on a low calorie diet.”

“This preference may reflect a cultural and genetic bias against processed food and a tendency to overeat in general,” they said. 

“However, our results suggest that there is a strong association between consumption of packaged foods and increased risk of weight gain.”

Researchers at University College London said there is still much more work to be done in the UK on obesity and the health of the whole diet, but they pointed to other countries with similar results.

“This is not an argument that the US has done anything wrong,” said Dr Rachel Baxendale, PhD from the university’s obesity department.

“But the data we have is consistent with the idea that people with a low carbohydrate diet are at greater risk of developing obesity, as are those with a high fat diet,” she added.

Our results highlight the importance of people with specific diets eating a diet that is low in carbohydrate, high in fat and minimises the risk of obesity.””

There is a complex interplay of a lot of different factors, but our findings are consistent with other studies that suggest a high carbohydrate diet is associated in many people with an increased risk for obesity.”

“Our results highlight the importance of people with specific diets eating a diet that is low in carbohydrate, high in fat and minimises the risk of obesity.”