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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2013 Jun;15(6):572-5. doi: 10.1111/dom.12056. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Higher protein diet for weight management in young overweight women: a 12-month randomized controlled trial.

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Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


Clinical research on weight management in young women is limited. This randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of two iso-energetically restricted (5600 kJ) diets [higher protein (HP): 32% protein, 41% carbohydrate, 25% fat or higher carbohydrate (HC): 20, 58, 21%, respectively] in 71 (HP: n = 36; HC: n = 35) young healthy women (18-25 years; body mass index ≥ 27.5 kg/m2) for weight (kg; percent weight loss), body composition, metabolic and iron changes assessed at baseline, 6 and 12 months.


mean (95% CI). In HP completers at 6 months, percent weight loss was higher [HP: 9.3 (5.6-13.1); HC: 5.1 (2.3-7.9)%; p = 0.06]; although, this did not reach statistical significance. Absolute weight [HP: 8.9 (5.3-12.5); HC: 4.6 (2.2-7.0) kg; p = 0.034] and fat loss [HP: 8.0 (4.4-11.5); HC: 3.4 (1.3-5.6) kg; p = 0.022] were significantly greater. No significant between-diet differences were observed at 12 months. Biochemistry remained within normal ranges with HP showing superior preservation of ferritin at 6 months [HP: 53 (40-66); HC: 46 (30-61) µg/l; p = 0.029]. Both diets supported clinically meaningful weight loss with HP tending to be more effective in the medium-term.

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