Research Studies

Research Studies

Using Meal Replacements for Weight Loss

A two-year randomized trial of obesity treatment in primary care practice.

Our data support the screening by PCPs of all adults for obesity, as well as efforts to help patients understand the health consequences of excess weight and the benefits of modest weight loss. By providing enhanced lifestyle counseling, [PCP and counseling visits plus a choice of meal replacements (52%) or weight loss medications (48%)], PCPs could help a considerable number obese persons achieve clinically meaningful weight loss, which they might not achieve if they were simply told to reduce their weight on their own. (New England Journal of Medicine. 2011; 365: 1969-79.)

Efficacy of a meal replacement diet plan compared to a food-based diet plan.

A meal replacement diet plan of a fixed macronutrient composition yielded clinically significant weight loss for 93% of obese participants. The intervention with meal replacements yielded changes in body composition that favorably impacted many cardiovascular health outcomes. The meal replacement diet plan evaluated is an effective strategy for producing robust initial weight loss and for achieving improvements in a number of health parameters during weight maintenance, including inflammation and oxidative stress, two key factors recently understood to underlie our most common chronic diseases. (Nutrition Journal 2010; 9:11.)

Meal Replacements and Energy Balance.

This collective information supports the view that meal replacements, particularly in beverage form, are now an effective and safe component for use in the clinical setting. Several studies suggest that the addition of a PMR to pharmacotherapy may be additive for weight loss.  (Physiology and Behavior. 2010; 100: 90-94.)

Position of the American Dietetic Association: Weight Management

Individuals adhering to structured meal replacement plans lose more weight at both 12 weeks and one year than individuals following a conventional diet plan, with one year dropout rates for the structured meal replacement plan significantly less than the conventional diet plan. (Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009; 109; 330-346.)

One Year Weight losses in the look AHEAD Study: Factors Associated with Success

The numbers of meal replacements consumed in the first six months was significantly related to weight loss at week 26 as was the total number consumed for the year to weight loss at week 52. (Obesity. 2009; 17: 713-722.)

Value of Structured Meals for Weight Management: Risk Factors and long-Term Weight Maintenance

For two groups, one with a 1,200-1,500 calorie diet and another with a diet using 2 or 3 meal replacements, the differences were significant. The first group lost an average of 1.5 pounds over 3 months and 3.3 pounds after 4 years. The second group lost 7.8 pounds after 3 months and 8.4 pounds after 4 years. (Obesity Research. 2001; 9: 2845-2895.)

Should Overweight and Obese Primary Care Patients Be Offered a Meal Replacement Diet?

The average adult primary care patient who receives a single motivational interview can lose about 3 kg in 1month using meal replacements. The diet was 1200 cal per day using pre-packaged foods for all calories other than fresh fruits and vegetables. Subjects were told that fresh vegetables and fruits were 'free' and did not count against their calorie budgets. Individual servings of snacks or desserts were acceptable as were frozen meals. No particular brand was recommended. (Obesity Research and Clinical Practice . 2008; 2: 263-268.)

Meal Replacements are as effective as Structured Weight-loss Diets for Treating Obesity in Adults with Features of Metabolic Syndrome

Dietary compliance and convenience were viewed more favorably by participants who consumed meal replacements than by those in a conventional weight loss program. (The Journal of Nutrition. 2004; 134: 1894-1899.)

Weight Management Using a Meal Replacement Strategy: Meta and Pooling Analysis from Six Studies

All methods of analysis indicated a significantly greater weight loss in subjects receiving the Partial Meal Replacement plan (usage of one or two meal replacements per day) compared to The Conventional Reduced Calorie Diet plan. This first systematic evaluation of randomized Controlled trials using Partial Meal Replacement plans for weight management suggests that these types of interventions can safely and effectively produce significant sustainable weight loss and improve weight related risk factors of disease. (International Journal of Obesity. 2003; 27: 537-549.)

Efficacy of a Meal Replacement Diet Plan Compared to a Food-Based Diet Plan

The meal replacement diet plan evaluated was an effective strategy for producing robust initial weight loss and for achieving improvements in a number of health-related parameters during weight maintenance, including inflammation and oxidative stress, two key factors more recently shown to underlie our most common chronic diseases. (Nutrition Journal 2010; 9:11)

Dietary Approaches to the Treatment of Obesity

Protein has the greatest potential to enhance satiety. The high protein group lost significantly more weight than the low protein group after 6 months and continued to have greater weight loss at 24 months. The high protein group had a greater decrease than the low protein group in waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and intra-abdominal adipose tissue. Structured approaches, including meal replacements and food provision, have been shown to increase the magnitude of weight loss. (Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2005; 28(1): 117-139)

Meal Replacements in Weight Intervention

The main finding of this study was that use of one or more meal replacements daily promoted significantly improved weight loss and maintenance compared with a traditional diet plan. In the second year, the weight maintenance phase of the study, using active intervention in the group setting was more effective when meal replacements continued to be part of the diet prescription. (Obesity Research. 2001; 9: 3125-3205.)

Effect of Meal Replacement on Metabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Subjects

Even over a short period of time, a meal replacement diet (replacing 2 meals per day) is more effective in reducing metabolic risk factors, insulin, and leptin, and on improving anthropometric measures than a fat restricted low calorie diet. (Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2008; 52: 74-78.)

Efficacy of Meal Replacements versus Standard Food Based Diet for Weight loss in Type 2 Diabetes

Approximately 40% of the protein controlled meal replacement diet participants lost greater than 5% of their initial weight compared with 12% of those on a standard diet. The retention rate and self reported ease of adherence in the meal replacement group was significantly higher throughout the study.  At 34 week s, the meal replacement group significantly lowered their fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin level while the change in the standard diet group was non-significant. (The Diabetes Educator. 2008; 34: 118-127.)

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