To compare the effects, researchers randomly assigned 148 men and women in the US without clinical cardiovascular disease and diabetes to follow a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet.
All participants were classified as obese based on body mass index (BMI) and just over half of the participants were black.
Both the low-carbohydrate and the low-fat groups received dietary counselling at regular intervals but had no specific calorie goals.
After one year, researchers found that both black and white participants on the low-carb diet had greater decreases in weight, fat mass and other cardio-vascular risk factors than those on the low-fat diet.
“An increase in BMI over time is the most important factor contributing to the observed increase in diabetes prevalence,” researchers stressed.
The paper was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.