The Role of Macronutrient Content in the Diet for Weight Management

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2016 Sep;45(3):581-604. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2016.04.009.


Diets to treat obesity have been in existence since Hippocrates treated obesity some 2500 years ago. There are currently a wide variety of diets and a common misconception that a single magical diet can cure overweight and obesity. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicate that all diets work when adhered to and that initial weight loss can predict the amount of weight lost and maintained for up to 4 years. Individual preferences are thus key in selecting a diet. There are emerging data pinpointing genetic variability in the metabolic responses to variation in macronutrient intake.

Keywords: Balanced-deficit diets; High-protein diets; Low carbohydrate diets; Low-fat diets; Macronutrients; Mediterranean diets; Very-low-calorie diets; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Weight Loss*