March 2017    
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The BROAD Study Confirms Starches Are Best for Health and Healing (with a 25-Pound Annual Weight Loss)

This study, just published in Nutrition and Diabetes (a medical journal), showed participants lost an average of 11.5 Kg (25.3 pounds) at one year. This is the largest weight loss of any randomized control trial (RCT) where participants had no restriction on calories and were not required to exercise.* The participants of the BROAD study from Gisborne, New Zealand exchanged their standard Western diet for a very low-fat, whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet (The McDougall Diet). Two of the lead authors, Dr. Luke Wilson and Dr. Nicholas Wright, were once trained as students at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California.


Gisborne is a small, rural city in New Zealand, a country with a very large meat and dairy consumption. This small community had limited access to healthful convenient foods; with no large organic supermarkets nor vegan cafes and vegan-friendly restaurants. Even though "the starch-based diet" required some major changes from the Kiwis' favorite foods (meat, dairy, sugary beverages, and other junk food), the study participants enthusiastically enjoyed the new meals, and especially appreciated the results of looking and feeling better. 


The study targeted patients who were overweight and obese; many also had heart disease or diabetes. Sixty-five participants were split randomly into two groups (33 vs. 32). At 12 months those who changed their diets increased their quality of life, decreased their waist circumference by an average of 9 cm, and their medication usage by an average of 29%. Co-author, Dr. Nicholas Wright said, "The whole food plant-based approach shows very promising weight loss results, without suffering with hunger, that were sustained over a very long time (one year)."


International media attention has been generated by the BROAD study. See this news story with an informative video.


This independently produced YouTube video will also help explain to you the results of the BROAD study:


For more information see:


*The OHSU, McDougall Diet and MS study, a one-year RCT, showed over 19 pounds of weight loss without additional exercise and eating without food (calorie) restriction. Participants in our multiple sclerosis (MS) study were not selected for the need for weight loss, nor diabetes and cardiovascular disease problems – therefore less weight loss over one year might be expected than was found in the BROAD study. However, we did get significant changes in total cholesterol, fatigue scores, and inflammatory markers. Our compliance rate was 85% for a year. Attendance to BROAD study education meetings was 79%. Thus, the results from the BROAD study are in many ways confirmatory and consistent with the OHSU Diet and MS study.

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