The universities of Stellenbosch/Cape Town lowcarbohydrate diet review: Mistake or mischief?

  • Z Harcombe
  • T Noakes

Abstract

A 2014 meta-analysis from the universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town reported that diets with a lower-carbohydrate (CHO) content are no more effective for producing weight loss than are high-CHO diets, so-called isoenergetic ‘balanced’ diets. We have re-examined the article and found numerous errors, many material in nature. Studies were included that failed the authors’ own inclusion criteria; invalid and subjective meta-analysis sub-grouping was used; and data extraction was repeatedly inaccurate. All but one error favoured the balanced diet. The article was widely publicised, highly impactful and inaccurate. This begs the question: mistake or mischief?

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Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135