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Examining the impact of food supplementation on weight loss

Food supplementation can, at best, only serve to encourage a person to comply with their diet, as stated in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism. In the paper, researchers from Australia conducted a systematic review of earlier studies to understand how food supplementation affects dietary interventions.

  • In the study, researchers established that overweight individuals require changes in their lifestyle to regulate their weight. One of these changes is nutrition counseling, with meal plans being an ideal method to measure a person’s compliance with their diet and improve their outcome.
  • Researchers used Scopus, PubMed, and the Cochrane Library to search for relevant studies, with results limited to those published between January 2004 to March 2015. They also used keywords – “trial” OR “intervention,” “food” OR “diet,” “weight loss” and “compliance” OR “adherence” – in their search.
  • Studies that had provided food to at least one study arm and those that reported weight change and compliance were included in the review. These were then finalized and grouped into two: those that had been supplemented with food (called “food versus no food”) and those that provided food to all participants (“food versus food”)
  • A total of 17 articles from 16 studies were culled from search. Of those in the “food versus food” category, all participants reported weight loss, while those in the “food versus no food” category exhibited greater weight loss than the control group. In three trials, differences in weight loss were reported in both groups.

From the findings, researchers deduced that food supplementation could be used to incentivize dietary compliance.

Journal Reference:

Wibisono C, Probst Y, Neale E, Tapsell L. IMPACT OF FOOD SUPPLEMENTATION ON WEIGHT LOSS IN RANDOMISED CONTROLLED DIETARY INTERVENTION TRIALS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism. June 2016;4:46–47. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnim.2015.12.327

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