Hi Mark - welcome to the club and the world of the media! The first sight I get of the article is the day it goes live and the fact that there was only one serious error (posted at the start of this) was pretty good. The conversation on the particular point you raise went something like - me: people often report the start of their weight problem was going on a calorie controlled diet. They started off at (say) 9 stone, reached 8 stone, regained to over 9 stone, swung back under 9 stone and regained to ten stone etc. I would say that is the opening phrase in 90% of the 1-1 meets I have. Sun: so dieting can make you gain weight? Me: over the long run, yes it can. And then you get the headline! As the media say - never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

You'll be able to read how I would put it in the book. In the meantime the headlines would be:
1) the calorie formula absolutely does not hold and none of our gov and diet organisations who use it even know from whence it came let alone can prove it. The one study of 12 people (12 people? there are 40 million overweight in the UK and NICE couldn't prove it with 12 people?) proved it to be out by a factor of at least 10. Interestingly a "weight watchers works" article in all the news media last week also proved it to be out by a factor of 10 (on fat, let alone weight). One of my key messages is, therefore, that the minimum expectation (women particularly) have with weight loss is 2lbs per week and they will be lucky if they achieve a tenth of this on a calorie controlled diet. In my book I draw the calorie formula promise alongside the chart above and you need two pieces of A4 to go as low as 'the promise' says you will - whereas the reality is a 3-6kg off baseline at 4 yrs - and that is only IF the person has been able to stick to the programme. This is what I would like to be set straight, as it is not fair to lie to people like this.

2) I first saw this chart at the National Obesity Forum Conference in Wales June 2010 and it was presented by one of the UK's leaders in the field of obesity - Dr Nick Finer - he contributed one to the 80 studies. His experience was that the regain curve continued so the dieters simply broke through the base line a few years behind when they would have done anyway. The world of obesity sees this kind of graph as delaying inevitable weight gain for a few years. That's depressing and avoidable.

3) Your opening sentence is interesting "not good at maintaining their weight loss" - because I would absolutely agree with that, but we may have different reasons as to why. Forgive me if I got the wrong impression but you seemed to be implying the 'people are greedy and only have themselves to blame' view to which I don't subscribe. My personal experience and experience with clients and the evidence with 26,000 subjects in those 80 studies in the graph is that it is virtually impossible to sustain weight loss following a calorie restricted diet. The body has reset the equilibrium to a lower fuel requirement and the person gets to the point where they put on weight at a calorie intake that is supposed to be still losing them weight. The Minnesota experiment proved this in 1945. The Stunkard & Hume review of 1959 quantified it (98% regain). The book lists many studies that all prove the same. Sustained weight loss through calorie restriction has been proven to be virtually impossible, with the rare exception. This is an interesting issue in itself. I open the book with Colleen Rand's study, which shows the extreme desire people have to be slim and it makes no sense that people would achieve their dream and not stay there if it were in any way within human capability. We will risk our lives to be slim - if it really were as simple as eat less/do more, we would just do it.

I also look forward to being able to do some scientific results with our club way of eating - the book was out in 2008, but received no publicity until 2009, so we don't have a year's data yet. Early evidence is significant losses, regular plateaus (some don't plateau at any point, but this is rare), no straight line formula whatsoever and, most importantly, little sign of regain if people buy into long term processed food avoidance. This is very different to long term calorie avoidance, which can't be sustained - the human drive to overcome hunger is too fundamental. In the book I do a comparison of all the isocaloric studies between 1956-2001 (isocaloric = same calories, different composition of fat/protein/carb for anyone who may not know). Low carb beats low calorie hands down, but the authors of the original study don't conclude that - the conviction that calories must be the most important thing knows know bounds!

Which brings me on to - spotted another v interesting post of yours, so I'll check out your link and get back to you!
Best wishes - Zoe