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Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Apr;42(4):835-840. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.306. Epub 2017 Dec 21.

Effects of replacing diet beverages with water on weight loss and weight maintenance: 18-month follow-up, randomized clinical trial.

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School of Life Sciences, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
NovinDiet Clinic, Tehran, Iran.
Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Beneficial effects of replacing diet beverages (DBs) with water on weight loss, during a 24-week hypoenergetic diet were previously observed. However, it is not known whether this difference is sustained during a subsequent 12-month weight maintenance period.


To evaluate effects of replacing DBs with water on body weight maintenance over a 12-month period in participants who undertook a 6-month weight loss plan.


Seventy-one obese and overweight adult women (body mass index (BMI): 27-40 kg m-2; age: 18-50 years) who usually consumed DBs in their diet were randomly assigned to either substitute water for DBs (water group: 35) or continue drinking DBs five times per week (DBs group: 36) after their lunch for the 6-month weight loss intervention and subsequent 12-month weight maintenance program.


A total of 71 participants who were randomly assigned were included in the study by using an intention-to-treat analysis. Greater additional weight loss (mean±s.d.) in the water group was observed compared with the DBs group after the 12-month follow-up period (-1.7±2.8 vs -0.1±2.7 kg, P=0.001). BMI decreased more in the water group than in the DBs group (-0.7±1 vs -0.05±1.1 kg m-2, P=0.003). There was also a greater reduction in fasting insulin levels (-0.5±1.4 vs -0.02±1.5 mmol l-1, P=0.023), better improvement in homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (-0.2±0.4 vs -0.1±0.3, P=0.013) and a greater decrease in 2-h postprandial plasma glucose (-0.2±0.3 vs -0.1±0.3 mmol l-1, P<0.001) in the water group compared with the DBs over the 12-month weight maintenance period.


Replacement of DBs with water after the main meal in women who were regular users of DBs may cause further weight reduction during a 12-month weight maintenance program. It may also offer benefits in carbohydrate metabolism including improvement of insulin resistance over the long-term weight maintenance period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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