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Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2004 Dec;54(4):402-7.

Impact of the hypocaloric diet using food substitutes on the body weight and biochemical profile.

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  • 1Adolescent Center Federal University of Sao Paulo and Sao Marcos University- Brazil.


Recent studies using balanced hypocaloric diets with food substitutes in some meals, have presented positive results. There are no studies with the Brazilian population on the efficacy of using food substitute, together with a hypocaloric diet. Main objective of this study was to verify the effects of a hypocaloric diet using food substitutes as meal replacement on the body weight, lipid profile, and glucose and insulin plasma levels. Seventy eight subjects of both genders were selected, 20-50 years old, and a body weight index between 25 kg/m2 and 35 kg/m2. The study lasted for six months and it was divided in 2 phases of three months each- mass reduction for 3 months and 3 months for maintenance. The sample was randomly divided in two groups: Group A (control- 3 months of general nutritional and physical orientation followed by 3 months with 1 meal replacement) and Group B (intervention- 2 meals replacement a day plus nutritional and physical orientation for 3 months followed by 3 months with 1 meal replacement). Anthropometric measurements, percent body fat (%BF), biochemical profile and intake survey were performed at moments 0, 3 and 6 months. Both groups showed a significant decrease in %BF, weight, and consequently in their BMI, in the third and sixth month of follow up. However, weight loss in group B was higher than in group A. At the end of the treatment, 0 and 25.0% of the patients of the group A and B, respectively, presented a weight loss higher than 10% of the initial weight. Comparing the triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol and glucose levels, between the beginning and after the three and six months of treatment, there was a significant reduction in the individuals only in group B. In conclusion, the use of food substitutes as meal replacement, together with a balanced, hypocaloric diet, proved to be efficient in weight loss for Brazilian overweighed individuals.

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