Should overweight and obese primary care patients be offered a meal replacement diet?

James E. Rohrer, Paul Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Randomized controlled pilot study of the impact of a 30-day meal replacement (MR) diet on body weight. Methods: Sixty-three subjects were enrolled and randomized into two groups to test the hypothesis that a simple diet based on packaged foods is as effective as a standard heart-healthy diet. Both groups were given 1200 cal diets with unlimited fresh vegetables and fruits. Eligible subjects were adult primary care patients with body mass index (BMI) > 25. Weights were measured in clinic at baseline and after 30 days. Results: Outcome data were available for 55 (44 women and 11 men). Ages ranged from 25 to 74. BMIs at baseline ranged from 24.5 to 50.6. Mean weight loss was similar in the two groups (-2.7 ± 2.6 kg in the meal replacement subjects vs. -3.3 ± 2.2 in standard care, p = 0.35). Conclusion: The average adult primary care patient who receives a single motivational interview can lose about 3 kg in 1 month using meal replacements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Counseling
  • Meal replacements
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Primary care
  • Short-term outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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