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The poor effectiveness of conventional dietary treatment for weight loss and weight maintenance in patients with type-2 diabetes may be improved by a meal replacement strategy that provides a strong structured meal plan with reasonable opportunity for dietary variety. Typical meal replacement programs fix the intake of one or two meals per day with a calorie-controlled, nutritionally balanced commercial formulation, and allow prudent additional meals and snacks. In obese subjects, diets with meal replacements have proven to be more efficient than conventional diets. Patients on the meal replacement regimen lost 7.3 and 8.4% of initial body weight after 12 weeks and 4 years, respectively, whereas the patients on the conventional diet had lost 1.4% and 3.2% of initial body weight after 12 weeks and 4 years, respectively. The meal replacement plan has also proven to be effective in patients with type-2 diabetes. After 6 and 12 months, patients in the meal replacement group achieved on average a weight loss of 5.24 and 4.35% of their initial body weight, respectively. In contrast, after 6 and 12 months, patients on the individualized diet plan achieved on average a weight loss of 2.85 and 2.36% of their initial body weight, respectively. Meal replacements offer a promising strategy for treating obese patients with type-2 diabetes.

Copyright © 2006 Nestec Ltd., Vevey/S. Karger AG, Basel

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