Evaluation of Hypocaloric Diet With Protein Supplementation in Middle-Aged Sarcopenic Obese Women: A Pilot Study

Obes Facts. 2017;10(3):160-167. doi: 10.1159/000468153. Epub 2017 May 20.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a nutritional program, which is characterized by a different modulation of proteins, in adult patients with sarcopenic obesity.

Methods: We studied 18 obese women aged 41-74 years. Obesity was diagnosed as fat mass > 34.8% and sarcopenia was defined when lean body mass was <90% of the subject's ideal fat free mass. All subjects were randomly assigned to different nutritional interventions: Hypocaloric diet plus placebo (A) and hypocaloric high-protein diet (1.2-1.4 g / kg body weight reference / day) (B). Anthropometric measurements, body composition, resting energy expenditure, handgrip test, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and SF-36 questionnaire were evaluated at baseline and after 4 months.

Results: Weight significantly decreased in both groups. Women with high-protein diet preserved lean body mass compared to low-calorie diet and improved significantly muscle strength; SPPB score did not change in both groups. SF-36 test showed a significant change for general health after 4 months in group B.

Conclusions: In our study, sarcopenic obese patients with high-protein diet showed an improvement in muscle strength. Furthermore, dietary protein enrichment may represent a protection from the risk of sarcopenia following a hypocaloric diet.

Keywords: Body composition; Hypocaloric diet; Obesity; Protein supplementation; Sarcopenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Sarcopenia / complications*
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology


  • Dietary Proteins