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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 May;20(5):450-4.

Obesity and risk of gallstone development on a 1200 kcal/d (5025 Kj/d) regular food diet.

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Obesity Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10025, USA.



Previous studies report a greatly increased risk of gallstone formation in obese persons during periods of caloric restriction on very low calorie formula diets. The aim of the present study was to assess the risk of gallstone development in moderately obese patients losing weight on a prescribed 1200 kcal/d (5025 Kj/d) regular food diet.


A consecutive sample of 70 men and women (body mass index > 25 kg/m2) (mean +/- SD, 28.9 +/- 2.8 kg/m2) responding to an announcement of an outpatient weight loss program in a major metropolitan research and teaching hospital were enrolled in a meal replacement program which prescribed 1200 kcal/d (5025 Kj/d) consisting of regular foods with approximately 20 g/d fat (15% of kcal) for 16 weeks.


Participants who completed the study (n = 34) lost a mean of 5.1 +/- 3.6 kg (p < 0.001) (range, +2.7 kg to -12.5 kg; 6.7 +/- 5.0% of body weight, range +/-3.1% to -17.0%; 0.36 +/- 0.25 kg/week) with no clinically significant adverse effects. There were no discernible new gallstones as measured by ultrasonography during the study period. Liver enzyme blood concentrations did not change significantly after 16 weeks except for alkaline phosphatase, which decreased by 4.5 mu/l from a mean initial level of 72.7 mu/l (p < 0.05).


Weight loss over 16 weeks on a 1200 kcal/d (5025 Kj/d) regular food/approx 20 g/d fat (15% of kcal) diet was not accompanied by a high rate of gallstone formation in moderately obese persons.

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