George Mason University

Lifestyle Management
through System Analysis


Impact of Diet on Weight Loss and Health

This lecture provides key examples and asks you to review the literature on a diet of interest to you.  


  1. Learn how to investigate the effectiveness of various diets
  2. Learn scientific evidence in support of different food habits.

Assigned Reading

  1. Read Goff SL, Foody JM, Inzucchi S, Katz D, Mayne ST, Krumholz HM.   BRIEF REPORT: nutrition and weight loss information in a popular diet book: is it fact, fiction, or something in between?  J Gen Intern Med. 2006 Jul;21(7):769-74.  More►
  2. Swartz J.   The sense and nonsense of the best-selling diet books.  Can Med Assoc J. 1982 Mar 15;126(6):696-701.  More►


  1.  Present data on the effectiveness of a specific diet using PubMed.  PubMed►   Scholar►

What you know?

Advanced learners like you, often need different ways of understanding a topic. Reading is just one way of understanding. Another way is through writing about what you have read.  The enclosed assessment is designed to get you to think more about the concepts taught in this session. 

  1. How effective is the Atkin's diet?
  2. How effective is the South Beach diet?
  3. Is there evidence that some diets cause harm by increasing the probability of heart problems?

Assignment Due this Week

  1. Every week, ask a question or comment on the lecture.  Comment►  Ask►

  2. Use the Scholar and PubMed search engines to investigate the effectiveness of one of the following diets:  Atkin's diet, low fat diet, South Beach diet, Grapefruit diet, etc.  PubMed►   Scholar►


  •  Explore consumer health information available on weight loss  Search►

This page is part of the course on Lifestyle Management   This page was last edited on 10/22/11 by Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D ©Copyright protected.