Analysis of weight loss outcomes using VLCD in black and white overweight and obese women with and without metabolic syndrome

Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Apr;29(4):436-42. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802864.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of very low calorie diet (VLCD) in black and white obese women. Changes in weight, metabolic profile, and body composition are assessed.

Method: Patients are enrolled in a self-paid, university-based, outpatient weight loss program. All are prescribed VLCD (500-800 Cal/day), an exercise regimen, and group behavioral counseling. Black and white patients are matched for age, weight, body mass index, and by metabolic syndrome (MS) status.

Results: A total of 304 black and white women (152 in each group) were included the analysis. Approximately 40% of patients had MS (white women: 39.5%; black women: 41.2%). Mean baseline weights were similar. After 12 weeks, weight reduction of 9.97% was seen in white women and 9.02% drop was seen in black women (both P<0.0001). However, the degree of weight change was not different between the groups (P = 0.244). Marked improvements in fasting glucose, total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride, and blood pressures (BP) were observed (all P<0.01); however, no difference between cohorts were seen. Patients with MS had higher baseline weight, BP, glucose and triglyceride levels when compared to patients without MS (all P<0.01). Significant reductions in % body fat were seen in white and black patients, independent of MS status.

Conclusion: Obese patients, independent of race, were able to achieve significant weight loss when enrolled in a structured outpatient program. Weight loss significantly correlated with all aspects of MS. Our results suggest that differences seen in past studies may be influenced by socioeconomic and behavioral factors rather than differences in physiological response to dieting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / ethnology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Loss
  • White People


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol