In fact, the whole concept of ranking weight loss diets is a distraction. Any lifestyle pattern that excludes smoking, includes physical activity and leads to weight loss in someone who has obesity (or prevents weight gain in non-obese people) will significantly decrease chronic disease risk, even for those with a genetic predisposition.
Teicholz and Taubes also proclaim LCHF as the way to reverse type 2 diabetes, citing an ongoing study as their evidence. While LCHF diets may indeed be able to reverse Type 2 diabetes, it is possibly a product of weight loss. This is supported by the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), which recently demonstrated remission of type 2 diabetes without the need of LCHF diets.
Our dietary patterns, in the macronutrient sense (carbohydrates, protein and fat intake), are more likely the passengers than the drivers of the current obesity crisis.
Teicholz and Taubes list the cause of our obesity problem, but misidentify the cause. They say that people have been following dietary guidelines. Narrator: they have not. Yes, Americans have been “notably increasing their consumption of grains, vegetables and fruits and eating less whole milk, butter, meat and eggs,” as Teicholz and Taubes claim. But what they didn’t note is that Americans have been increasing their total energy consumption overall.
We consume more energy than we did in the 1970s. Factors like urbanization, decreased physical activity at work and at home, and lower food costs (especially for calorie-dense, nutrient poor foods) have all worked together to increase the availability of food energy and decrease its expenditure. These are the real drivers of our obesity crisis, not simply carbohydrate (or indeed, sugar) intake.