Effects of weight reduction on blood lipids and lipoproteins: a meta-analysis

Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Aug;56(2):320-8. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/56.2.320.


Studies designed to examine effects of weight reduction by dieting on total cholesterol (TC), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), very-low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), and triglycerides (TGs) have reported inconsistent results. The purpose of this study was to quantify effects of weight loss by dieting on lipids and lipoproteins through the review method of meta-analysis. Results from the 70 studies analyzed indicated that weight reduction was associated with significant decreases (P less than or equal to 0.001) and correlations (P less than or equal to 0.05) for TC (r = 0.32), LDL-C (r = 0.29), VLDL-C (r = 0.38), and TG (r = 0.32). For every kilogram decrease in body weight, a 0.009-mmol/L increase (P less than or equal to 0.01) in HDL-C occurred for subjects at a stabilized, reduced weight and a 0.007-mmol/L decrease (P less than or equal to 0.05) for subjects actively losing weight. Our results indicate that weight reduction through dieting can be a viable approach to help normalize plasma lipids and lipoproteins in overweight individuals.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Probability
  • Regression Analysis
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins