White Sweet Potato as Meal Replacement for Overweight White-Collar Workers: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nutrients. 2019 Jan 14;11(1):165. doi: 10.3390/nu11010165.


Overweight and obesity are a global concern. Meal replacements (MRs) are portion- and calorie-controlled meals, which make the food environment part of an individual's weight loss regimen. White sweet potato (WSP; Ipomoea batatas L.), used in traditional medicine in Brazil, Japan, and Taiwan, is a healthy carbohydrate source. In this randomized controlled trial, we assessed the effects of a WSP formula on body weight management in 58 white-collar workers through MR to elucidate the effects of this WSP-MR on factors leading to overweight. The participants consumed either two packs a day for a total of 132 g of WSP (WSP-MR group) or a normal diet daily (non-WSP group) for eight weeks. After eight weeks, body weight, body fat, body mass index, wrist circumference, thigh circumference, calf circumference, mid-arm circumference, and triceps skinfolds decreased significantly in both the groups. Moreover, the WSP-MR group demonstrated a 5% decrease in body weight, body fat, body mass index, and mid-arm circumference and a 3.5% decrease in glycated hemoglobin levels (p < 0.05). The treatment was well tolerated, without side effects or adverse events. Thus, our WSP formula as an MR can facilitate individual weight loss and thus has commercial application in the food industry.

Keywords: glycated hemoglobin; meal replacement; overweight; white sweet potato.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ipomoea batatas / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Meals*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Overweight / diet therapy*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Creatinine
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase