Weight loss and biomedical health improvement on a very low calorie diet: the moderating role of history of weight cycling

Behav Med. 2005 Winter;30(4):161-70. doi: 10.3200/BMED.30.4.161-172.


In this study, the authors examined biomedical consequences of participation in a professionally delivered, multifaceted very low calorie diet (VLCD) program and whether the degree of benefit associated with treatment was moderated by history of weight cycling. The authors monitored body weight and biomedical health indicators in 66 severely obese outpatients on a VLCD liquid fast. Participants remained on the VLCD for a median of 55 (range 9 to 247) days. Treatment was associated with significant pre-to-post improvements on body weight, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. History of weight cycling (independent of age) was inversely related to the magnitude of absolute pre-to-post treatment changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as to the rate of weight change. More intensive, longer term, and explicit maintenance components, especially aimed at individuals with multiple weight loss-regain episodes, may be necessary to facilitate weight loss and attain optimal health benefits from VLCDs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Periodicity*
  • Recurrence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss*