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Obes Facts. 2013;6(3):217-27. doi: 10.1159/000351726. Epub 2013 May 22.

Change in proportional protein intake in a 10-week energy-restricted low- or high-fat diet, in relation to changes in body size and metabolic factors.

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Institute of Preventive Medicine, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals-Part of the Copenhagen University Hospital, The Capital Region, Copenhagen, Denmark.



To investigate in a secondary analysis of a randomised trial the effects of a low-/high-fat diet and reported change from baseline in energy% from protein (prot%), in relation to changes in body size and metabolic factors.


Obese adults (n = 771) were randomised to a 600 kcal energy-deficient low-fat (20-25 fat%) or high-fat (40-45 fat%) diet over 10 weeks. Dietary intake data at baseline and during the intervention were available in 585 completers. We used linear regression to calculate the combined effects of randomised group and groups of prot% change (<-2 /-2 to 2/>2) on outcomes.


The low-fat group with >2 prot% increase lost 1.1 kg more weight (p = 0.03) and reduced cholesterol by 0.25 mmol/l more (p = 0.003) than the high-fat group with >2 prot% decrease. These differences were 2.5-fold and 1.8-fold greater than the differences between the low-fat and high-fat groups while not considering prot% change. The high-fat group reduced plasma triglycerides more than the low-fat group, but not compared to those in the low-fat group with >2 units prot% increase (p fat-protein interaction = 0.01).


Under energy restriction, participants on a low-fat diet who had increased the percentage energy intake from protein showed the greatest reduction in weight and cholesterol, and a triglyceride reduction equally large to that of participants on a high-fat diet.

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