Newswise — Bronx, NY.—January 8, 2013—U.S. News & World Report released today its Best Diets 2013 rankings, featuring a variety of weight loss programs. Among the experts tapped to evaluate the diets was Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor of clinical epidemiology & population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The third installment of U.S. News’ diet ranking features expanded coverage, including new plant-based diets rankings. Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani is a member of an invited panel of 20 health experts, each selected by U.S. News to develop its rankings. Best Diets 2013 provides a look at 29 diets, ranging from the Traditional Asian Diet to Weight Watchers. Diets were ranked based on ratings from the independent panel of 20 experts. The experts rated each diet in categories such as ease of compliance, diabetes control and management, heart health, weight loss, safety, and nutritional completeness. Increasingly popular in health and wellness circles, plant-based diets have gained attention as a potential antidote to the obesity epidemic in this country. In addition to weight loss, research suggests these diets help protect against diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. U.S. News evaluated 11 plant-based diets, including the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, Engine 2 Diet, and Flexitarian Diet. The Mediterranean Diet took first place in the survey’s newest category. It 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. Other diet categories (and the winners in those categories) include: Best Weight-Loss Diets (Weight Watchers ranked first); Best Heart-Healthy Diets (The Ornish Diet); Best Diabetes Diets (DASH Diet tied with the Biggest Loser Diet); Best Diets Overall (DASH Diet); Best Commercial Diet Plans (Weight Watchers); Best Diets for Healthy Eating (DASH diet); and Easiest Diets to Follow (Weight Watchers). Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani notes that motivational components and ease of compliance are key factors for any individual choosing a diet (see related blog post). “Any change in a behavior such as eating requires a major change in habits,” she noted. “You need a road map that can help you navigate the new way and anticipate problems so you can build new healthy habits that work well with your body clock.”

Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani also participated in the last two Best Diets rankings. She teaches an elective course on nutrition and health for first-year medical students at Einstein and has been conducting research on nutrition for over two decades. She is currently the nationwide principal investigator for Study of Latinos: Nutrition & Physical Activity Assessment Study (SOLNAS), an ancillary study to the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the largest ever study of Hispanic health in the U.S. In SOLNAS, she investigates measurement errors in participants' self-reported diet and physical activity. She is also the principal investigator at Einstein for the SOL Sueño/Sleep Study, which is investigating the association of sleep habits with obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension among Latinos in the U.S.

As an interventionist, Dr. Mossavar-Rahmani served as a co-investigator/lead nutritionist of the NIH-funded Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification Trial and participated in numerous nationwide committees. She co-chaired the WHI Self-Monitoring working group, for which she received the WHI Achievement Award, and served as nationwide chair of WHI Lead Nutritionists.

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Albert Einstein College of MedicineAlbert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. In 2012, Einstein received over $160 million in awards from the NIH for major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS, as well as other areas. Through its affiliation with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, and six other hospital systems, the College of Medicine runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @EinsteinMed.

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