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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Your space: Dixit Diet needs scientific validation, say Pune readers

Dr Jagannath Dixit has been appointed as the state’s brand ambassador for tackling obesity and diabetes. Some physicians and diabetologists say the claims made under the Dixit diet plan, conceived by Dr Dixit, need to be validated through scientific tests. What is your view?

pune Updated: Feb 24, 2019 15:43 IST

Hindustan Times, Pune
Diabetologists who stress on physical exercise, small and frequent meals as a means to control diabetes have said claims made by Dixit diet plan needs to be validated through proper scientific tests.
Diabetologists who stress on physical exercise, small and frequent meals as a means to control diabetes have said claims made by Dixit diet plan needs to be validated through proper scientific tests. (iStock)

Many self-styled experts lose their way in the “bhool-bhulaiya” (maze) of nutritional epidemiology. History is replete with accounts of dietary faddism. Hardly any has stood the test of time. Most of these dietary fads gained prominence due to the strong personality and charisma of the proponents, sometimes seconded by celebrities rather than by sound scientific evidence. Gathering sound scientific evidence is easier said than done. Scientific studies in nutrition have their pitfalls. This is due to the “heterogeneity” of individual responses to various dietary combinations and regimens. Ignoring this need for restraint in generalising from personal experiences or few subjects to the general population have in the past led to formulation of guidelines at the population level which did not achieve the desired outcomes. Epidemiological studies which were helpful in communicable diseases have their limitations when applied to chronic diseases. Chronic diseases have long latent periods and have multiple causative and confounding factors. Nutritional epidemiology, in particular, is limited by number of biases and measurement errors. It is not feasible to administer a diet plan on a population level and keep all variables constant over a number of years. It is also difficult to keep participants restricted to a rigid lifestyle. Insights into gene-diet-disease link in the future may to some extent resolve these issues. Till then diets will come and diets will go enjoying their 15 minutes of fame. - Dr Amitav Banerjee

Promote Dixit diet after scientific validation

I’m sure Dr Jagannath Dixit is open to scientific validity and scientists will be happy to promote the Dixit diet if it works after scientific validation. - Dr Mohan Agashe

Randomised control trial should be carried out

Practically it has helped some patients who strictly follow it, but again rebound obesity could happen after discontinuation. Study has to be carried out with randomised control trial in healthy obese and with diabetic patients as diabetic insulin secretions are different so the Dixit theory may harm. In the present lifestyle, it is difficult to follow such regime; rather cut down in carbohydrate, use of salads and regular exercise can have long-term lifestyle change. A new study in Australia has shown fast exercise for a few, even two minutes, regularly has shown much loss of obesity in patients. - Dr Vijay Warad

No harm in giving Dixit diet a shot

I am a diabetic and followed the Dixit diet once, but unfollowed it after a few attempts. The regimen is basically to control your appetite and monitor what you eat, only then it helps. I also heard many people are benefitting from it and many of my friends have even shared that there are general physicians who recommend it to patients. Also, since the diet is totally on experimentation basis, there is nothing to lose and one does not have to be a diabetologist or dietician to invent such a diet form. Experts are only threatened because it may lead to ‘shutting of shop’ for them as they may lose patients if it starts reversing diabetes in many. Hence, the opposition, but I see no harm in giving Dixit diet a shot and let it prove its worth in masses and through trials. - Prashant Dindokar

No scientific data to support the diet

The Dixit diet twice a day /55 minutes has a limited role with no scientific data. It helps in reducing the total calorie intake as individuals don’t eat in between, especially snackers or foodies /binge eating (and most of those people are unlikely to be successful in this plan). So, it has a limited role in reducing weight. It has no role in diabetes as a diabetic patient will have to eat often though with low calorie (low in sugar/carbohydrate) and cannot have large meals unlimited even for 55 minutes. The diet instead of showcasing a few tell-a-tale stories should be studied scientifically before propagating to general population. I believe proponents are propagating that they are taking the clinical trials on a large number of patients. Till those clinical trials are conducted, authenticated and published, we don’t have scientific data to support. Though we hear stories of its success, no one has so far studied the other side of the story. - Dr Shrihari Dhorepatil

The diet is working well for me

I am 149 inches tall and my weight was 70 kilogrammes in November 2018, when someone mentioned the Dixit diet to me. I had been gaining 1-2 kilogrammes each year after I crossed 35, and I am 46 years old now. I used to carry multiple small tiffin boxes, salads and light dinner with 1 chapatti. Yet, the frequent small meals simply did not work. Not only did I have severe acidity, it was compounded by migraines and joint pain. Having tried several diets in the past, I decided to follow the Dixit diet three months ago. It seemed easy enough to follow, two meals a day and 45 minutes of walk. I walked in the morning for 45 minutes, brunch at 10.30.a.m that included one boiled egg, fruits and breakfast that included any one idli/dosa/paratha/wheatbread sandwich. This was a full meal and I did not feel any hunger pangs or acidity during my office hours. Supper at 5.30p.m was a bowl of rice with vegetables, dal and rice. The food intake was good enough to last me till my next meal at 10.30 am the next day. At the end of three months, I have lost 6 kgs and I think the diet is working well. - Jaya N

First Published: Feb 24, 2019 15:22 IST