Year-long obesity trials reveal potential for siginifcant weight loss in obese Brits

Very low calorie diets are far more effective at tackling obesity than conventional diets, potentially putting an end to losing battles among drastically overweight Britons.  That is the conclusion of a recent year-long trial amongst Britons.

Statistics show that more than one in five women in the UK are overweight, whilst one in six men have a body mass index (BMI) of over 30.  A healthy weight BMI should be between 20 and 25.

In a 12 month study, adult men and women with a BMI at or above 35 were entered into a clinical trial of different diet interventions with the aim of achieving a five per cent weight loss. An initial test was comprised of eating 600 less calories per day than the recommended daily allowance for men/women. Those who failed to achieve the 5% weight loss were then put on either the low carbohydrate, high protein diet (LCHP) or a very low calorie diet (VLCD). The latter eating plan drastically cuts the amount of calories consumed by relying on a diet of milkshakes.

At the end of the year-long trial, the average weight loss for the Very Low Calorie Diet was 31 kilograms, compared to just four kilograms for the low carb/high protein diet, one of the country’s current fashionable eating fads.

The very low calorie programme, known as LighterLife, was also twice as successful as those who stuck with eating just 600 less calories per day, which reduced obese Brits’ weight by an average of 18kg. It also resulted in increased cardiovascular benefits and improvements in cholesterol.

The study was led by Professor Iain Broom, the director of the Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology at Robert Gordon University and a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Aberdeen.Professor Broom said: “This shows how a very low calorie diet can provide excellent weight loss for obese people in both the short and long term, including those patients who have failed other dietary approaches.  The cholesterol benefits are also considerable, as are the lean body mass results which demonstrate that patients see the very same changes in their body composition as those on a conventional diet – there was no difference in the amount of lean body mass change, suggesting that cardiac muscle was not affected by VLCD therapy.”

The study supports what LighterLife seeks to achieve with every client who undertakes it, greater weight loss results and an immediate solution to the side effects of obesity such as high cholesterol and restricted movement. It demonstrates that for people living with obesity a very low calorie diet can be the solution they’ve been looking for.

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