In the “duh” department, see this Wired News article, “Eat Fat to Lose Fat.” The headline is deciving because what the article really says is eat a balanced diet. To quote:
Scientists found that in mice, old fat stuck around when the liver had no new fat to process. The results are further evidence that extreme diets often aren’t the ticket to a lean body, and a balanced diet is likely important for more reasons than scientists currently understand.
“Extremes of diet are sometimes unwise, because a balanced diet may be critical for providing certain dietary signals that allow you to respond appropriately to stresses, and one of those stresses is eating too much,” said Dr. Clay Semenkovich, a professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at the University of Washington and co-author of the study.
The good doctor goes on to say that in the short-term, diets like Atkins seem to work; but in the long-term, people are better off eating a balance of foods. It’s worth pointing out though that part of what they found is that super-duper low-fat diets might not be that good for you either because (apparently) you have to have a certain amount of “new fat” in your diet to convince your liver to get rid of “old fat” around your belly, butt, etc.
Of course, we’re told to eat a “balanced diet” as if we all just knew what that was, as if the merry-go-round called the food pyramid was as simple and as constant as pie (which, sadly, is probably not part of a balanced diet).