CLINICAL STUDY: MEAL REPLACEMENTS
“A Controlled Trial of Protein Enrichment of Meal Replacements for Weight Reduction and Retention of Lean Body Mass.”
Leo Treyzon, Steve Chen, Kurt Hong, Eric Yan, Catherine Carpenter, Gail Thames, Susan Bowerman, He-Jing Wang, Robert Elashoff and Zhaoping Li - UCLA Center for Human Nutrition
What was the study about? This study enrolled 100 overweight people to examine the effects of two different levels of protein in the diet on their weight loss over a one-year period.
What did the study attempt to find out? The researchers wanted to see if the people taking in more protein would lose more weight than people taking in a more standard amount of protein. Since protein helps to maintain lean body mass, they also wanted to see if people on higher protein would lose more body fat than those people in the regular protein group, even if both groups ended up losing the same amount of weight.
What did the study subjects have to do? The subjects had to follow a diet that included two meal replacement shakes per day (Formula 1 with milk with one healthy meal and snacks). The subjects were evenly divided into two groups. One group–the high protein group–made their shakes with extra protein powder added (PPP). The other group–the placebo group-made their shakes with Formula 1, but added a placebo (look-alike) PPP powder that had no protein in it. The subjects did not know which group they were in.
What happened? Weight loss was about the same in both groups, but, as the researchers suspected, the people consuming more protein lost more body fat than the people consuming standard amounts of protein. Also, the study showed that meal replacement shakes are an effective way to lose weight.
Have the results been published yet? The results of the study have been published in the August 2008 issue of Nutrition Journal.
NOTE: A clinical study is a study that is conducted by a group of researchers on human subjects to answer a particular question or hypothesis.
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