Objective: In China, high-fat diets and excessive energy intake have led to an increasing prevalence of obesity which was previously uncommon. The current study examined the effects of meal replacement (MR) on weight control in overweight or obese Chinese individuals with hyperlipidemia.
Methods: Patients, 18-65 years, with body mass index 25-35 kg/m(2) and triglycerides >1.7 and <5.4 mmol/L were enrolled. Major exclusion criteria were: type II diabetes, fasting glucose ≥7.0 mmol/L, glycosylated hemoglobin ≥6.5%; weight loss surgery or use of weight loss drugs; weight fluctuations >2%; use of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Eligible patients were randomized 1:1 to a high-protein (HP) diet (2.2 g protein/kg/day) or a standard-protein (SP) diet (1.1 g protein/kg/ day) provided twice daily for 3 months. Assessments included body weight, waist-hip ratio, body fat percentage, blood lipids, blood glucose, insulin, liver and kidney function.
Results: Although mean weight loss and percent BMI reduction were greater with HP than SP at 12 weeks, the differences were not significant. There was, however, a significantly greater decrease in waist-hip ratio with HP versus SP (-0.03 ± 0.03 vs. -0.01 ± 0.04; p < 0.05). Triglycerides decreased from baseline in both groups; however, the difference was not significant. Both HP and SP were well tolerated. This study demonstrated that in obese Chinese patients with hyperlipidemia, a protein-enriched MR diet resulted in significantly reduced waist circumference compared to a standard protein diet.
Conclusion: This first study of protein-enriched partial meal replacement in a free-living Chinese population suggests a new and promising strategy for reducing abdominal obesity in China.
Keywords: daily energy nutrition; high-protein; hyperlipidemia; meal replacement; obese; overweight; waist circumference; weight loss.