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Clinical Implications for the Treatment of Obesity

Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, 3223 North Broad Street, Suite 175, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 4.39). 08/2006; 14 Suppl 4(S7):182S-185S. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2006.303
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Similar findings are observed in studies that compare meal replacements (37, 38, 39, 40) or prepackaged entrees (41, 42) with self-selected diets. These studies suggest that replacing two of three meals with a liquid and/or solid meal replacement or at least two meals with a portion-controlled entrée result in greater weight loss than traditional self-selected diets and an improved nutrient intake profile (i.e., decreased dietary fat intake and improved micronutrient intake) with the exception of fiber intake, which may be low if diets using meal replacements are not supplemented with high-fiber foods (43). Although some weight regain is observed over time, a greater reduction in weight is observed even up to 4 years in individuals receiving meal replacements (38). Based on a meta-analysis by Heymsfield et al. (44), individuals consuming meal replacements lose ∼7% to 8% body weight, whereas those on a standard self-selected diet lose 3% to 7% body weight at 1 year. It is unclear, however, whether meal replacements are superior to other structured weight loss approaches that provide menus and recipes. Noakes et al. (43) found similar decreases in weight in individuals using meal replacements (9.0 kg or −9.4% body weight) and following structured diets (9.2 kg or 9.3% body weight) for 6 months (43). These findings suggests that guidance in making food choices and/or determining portion size may improve compliance to a dietary plan and make following an energy-restricted diet easier.

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