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Diet and Weight-Loss FIndingsFat-filled diets and hunger-curbing injections may sound like fads, but in 2016, new research suggested that such interventions could have health and weight-loss benefits.
Here are seven studies from 2016 that highlight some of the most intriguing diet and weight-loss findings of the year
Dieting actually improves your mood.Slide 2 of 15
Dieting actually improves your mood.Think you'll be "hangry" if you go on a diet? Think again: A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that when people who were normal weight or overweight (but not obese) cut calories, they slept better, were in a better mood and had better sex lives.
In the study, researchers looked at 220 people who were divided into two groups: a calorie-restricted group advised to cut their daily calorie intake by about 25 percent, and a control group that received no dietary advice. Researchers tracked the participants for two years, asking them to periodically fill out questionnaires about their mood, quality of life, sexual function and sleep.
"We found that normal-weight and mildly overweight people who wish to lose weight need not worry about decreased quality of life," Corby Martin, director of the Ingestive Behavior Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana and the lead author of the study, told Live Science in May.
Instead, "they can actually expect to feel better," Martin said. Another benefit? The participants in the calorie-restricted group lost an average of about 17 lbs. (8 kilograms) over the two-year period, compared with almost no weight change in the control group.Slide 3 of 15
There could be an exercise "sweet spot" for losing weight.Slide 4 of 15
There could be an exercise "sweet spot" for losing weight.What's the optimal amount of exercise to do if you want to lose weight? A study published in the journal Current Biology may provide some clues: Researchers found that people who engaged in moderate levels of physical activity burned about 200 more calories per day than those who had the lowest levels of physical activity. However, strikingly, the people who were the most physically active burned, on average, the same number of calories as those who were moderately active.
This may be because the body adapts to higher levels of activity, study author Herman Pontzer, an associate professor of anthropology at the City University of New York, told Live Science in January. Exercising a lot may actually prompt the body to make adjustments to adapt and actually keep its energy expenditure at the same level as it does when exercising less, the researchers concluded.Slide 5 of 15
Injections of tiny beads could promote weight loss.Slide 6 of 15
Injections of tiny beads could promote weight loss.In a small study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's annual meeting this year, researchers described a new procedure that may curb feelings of hunger and promote weight loss.
In the procedure, called bariatric arterial embolization, microscopic beads are injected into the blood through a tiny nick in the wrist or groin. The beads travel to a part of the stomach called the fundus, where they decrease the amount of blood flow to that area. The fundus produces most of the body's ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, so by decreasing blood flow to the area, the procedure may limit the amount of ghrelin the fundus secretes, the researchers said.
Study lead author Dr. Clifford Weiss, director of interventional radiology research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, noted in a statement that the doctors who completed the study are excited about the possibilities the procedure offers. Compared to weight-loss surgery, this procedure "is significantly less invasive and has a much shorter recovery time," he said.
However, the findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and much more research will be needed to confirm the procedure's safety and effectiveness.Slide 7 of 15
Eating fat doesn't make you fat.Slide 8 of 15