The effect of 12 weeks of euenergetic high-protein diet in regulating appetite and body composition of women with normal-weight obesity: a randomised controlled trial

Br J Nutr. 2020 Nov 28;124(10):1044-1051. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520002019. Epub 2020 Jun 9.


Normal-weight obesity (NWO) syndrome is associated with metabolic diseases. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of 12 weeks of a high-protein (HP) v. a standard protein (SP) diet on appetite, anthropometry and body composition in NWO women. In this clinical trial, fifty NWO women were randomly allocated to HP (n 25) or SP (n 25) diet groups. Women in the HP and SP groups consumed 25 and 15 % of their total energy intake from protein for 12 weeks. Weight, fat mass (FM), lean body mass (LBM), waist circumference (WC) and appetite were evaluated at baseline and following their 3-month intervention. After 12 weeks, the LBM was higher in HP compared with no significant changes in the SP group (mean between-group difference = 1·5 kg; 95 % CI 3·1, 0·01; effect size (d) = 0·4). Furthermore, the HP group had lower FM (mean between-group difference -1·1 kg; 95 % CI 1, -3·3; d = -0·2), body fat percentage (BFP) (mean between-group difference -2 %; 95 % CI 0·7, -5·2; d = -0·3) and WC (mean between-group difference -1·4 cm; 95 % CI 0·6, -3·6; d = -0·2) at the end of the study in comparison with the SP group. In both groups, weight and appetite were unchanged over time without significant differences between groups. Twelve weeks of euenergetic diets with different dietary protein contents resulted in no significant weight loss in women with NWO. However, an HP diet significantly improved body composition (LBM, FM, BFP and WC) in this population.

Keywords: Body composition; Diet; High-protein diet; Normal-weight obesity; Obesity; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite Regulation / physiology*
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, High-Protein*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Iran
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Satiation