The Every-Other-Day Diet
Emily Mittertreiner
Prince of Wales Secondary
Floor Location : M 111 H

The objective was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on studies that observed the effects of an alternate-day fasting diet in adults who were overweight or obese. There is much controversy surrounding the alternate-day fasting diet, because some studies report positive effects while others do not. Thus, a meta-analysis is needed to evaluate all literature on the subject as a whole. This is the first meta-analysis on this topic. I searched for randomized controlled trials that compared a normal lifestyle to an alternate-day fasting lifestyle or compared different types of alternate-day fasting. Ten studies were included in the systematic review. Alternate day fasting resulted in 1) lower levels of triglycerides over 5 studies involving 173 patients, standard mean difference (SMD) = -3.73 [95% confidence interval (CI) = -6.24, 1.22], p = 0.004; 2) lower diastolic blood pressure over 3 studies involving 118 patients (SMD = -0.36 [95% CI = -0.73, 0.00], p = 0.05); 3) lower systolic blood pressure over 3 studies involving 118 patients (SMD = -0.43 [95% CI = -0.79, 0.06], p = 0.02). In addition, there was a trend towards 1) lower body mass index (BMI) over 5 studies involving 181 patients (SMD = 0.29 [95% CI = -0.58, 0.01], p = 0.06), and 2) lower fasting glucose levels over 2 studies involving 88 patients (SMD = 0.37 [95% CI = -0.80, 0.05], p = 0.08). Alternate-day fasting had no effect on high-density lipids or low-density lipids. Alternate-day fasting can benefit overweight and obese people by decreasing body mass, BMI, triglycerides, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and fasting glucose. This, in turn, can reduce risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Alternate-day fasting is not only a diet to help one lose weight, but one that will also reduce the risk of disease.