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Hormones (Athens). 2013 Jan-Mar;12(1):101-10.

Enhancing treatment of obesity by using a distracting mini-meal: a new approach to an old problem.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.



The management of obesity, apart from exercise, mainly involves a calorie restriction regimen. A pharmaceutical treatment is often used to improve patient compliance and diet effectiveness, although several side-effects have previously been described. To improve patient compliance and diet effectiveness without incurring unpleasant side-effects, we evaluated whether a distracting mini-meal can physiologically decrease the absorption of fats and carbohydrates.


Two minutes before each of the three meals consumed daily, 32 obese patients were treated with a distracting mini-meal, 32 with metformin, and 32 with placebo. At baseline and after 1, 3, and 6 months of treatment, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, fasting/post-prandial insulinaemia and glycaemia, homeostasis model assessment-index, triacylglycerols, and total cholesterol were evaluated.


All patients showed good compliance. With the exception of post-prandial glycaemia, a significant reduction in all parameters was documented in every group, albeit the greater variation was observed in patients treated with a distracting mini-meal or metformin. No one showed noteworthy side-effects.


Our study focuses on a distracting mini-meal that could become a useful tool in enhancing weight loss. The beneficial effect of a distracting meal on insulin resistance, glucose, and lipid metabolism suggest its possible use to prevent or mitigate obesity-related disorders.

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