U.S. News & World Report: Emory cardiologist helps rank the nation's top diets

By Jennifer Johnson | Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Jan. 22, 2013

Story image
Laurence S. Sperling is the founder and director of Preventive Cardiology, co-director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program and professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine.

To help the thousands of Americans who start the New Year with weight loss and healthy eating goals, U.S. News & World Report released its 3rd annual Best Diets 2013 rankings this week, featuring expanded coverage of a variety of weight loss programs, including new plant-based diets rankings.

Emory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist Laurence Sperling, served on the U.S. News independent panel of 20 experts evaluating the country's most popular diets. Sperling is the medical director of Emory's Center for Heart Disease Prevention and professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

"Diets are serious business, so we've assembled the experts to provide the best and most current information for consumers," says Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News.

Sperling and his colleagues reviewed 29 diets, ranging from the Traditional Asian Diet to Weight Watchers and rated each one in categories such as ease of compliance, diabetes control and management, heart health, weight loss, safety and nutritional completeness.

"In addition to weight loss, some of the most important factors of the diets that we analyzed were their protection against diabetes, heart disease and other preventable health conditions," says Sperling. "This US News special edition is helpful to consumers and patients because it not only offers the diet rankings, it also includes a detailed profile and explanation of how each diet works, an evaluation of its claims and information about what it's like to live on these diets."

The rankings include the survey's newest category: Best Plant-Based Diets. The Mediterranean Diet took first place in this group and was followed closely by Dawn Jackson Blatner's Flexitarian Diet, a flexible approach to vegetarianism, and then Dean Ornish's Diet, a low-fat, heart-healthy eating regimen bolstered by exercise, social support and stress management techniques. 

The other categories included: Best Diets Overall, Best Commercial Diet Plans, Best Weight-Loss Diets, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Best Diabetes Diets, Best Heart-Healthy Diets and Easiest Diets to Follow.

For a complete list of the diet rankings, please visit: www.usnews.com/bestdiets2013.