Ketogenic diet may cause small reductions in weight but no long term data

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Goodfellow Gems

Ketogenic diet may cause small reductions in weight but no long-term data

A recent Alberta Tools for Practice1  suggests that “At best, ketogenic diets help patients lose ~2 kg more than low-fat diets at one year, but higher quality studies show no difference. Weight loss peaks ~5 months but is generally not sustained. There are no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on mortality or cardiovascular disease. An individual's weight change can vary -30 to +10 kg with any diet.”

We tend to see individuals in the early stages of these diets losing weight with the enthusiasm of a new diet. However we really need to see longer-term studies with hard outcomes to be sure this diet regime is a viable solution for our patients. This is an absence of evidence situation.


  1. Less Pancakes, More Bacon? The Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss. Alberta Tools for Practice #220 2018.  Click here 

Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.

As published in NZ Doctor 12/12/2018