Effect of eight weeks of a milk-based intensive weight management programme on anthropometric and metabolic characteristics of severely obese adults

Type Article

Journal Article


R. McGrath; K. Dullea; K. Cunningham; H. Griffin

Year of publication



Obesity facts







Introduction: Therapeutic options for bariatric patients are limited by restricted access to bariatric surgery and a paucity of safe, effective pharmacotherapy. A relatively inexpensive, straightforward low‐energy dietary (LED) regime based on meal replacement with semi‐skimmed milk has shown therapeutic promise, but data on its effect size and feasibility are limited. We sought to quantify anthropometric and metabolic changes in this cohort after eight weeks of a milk‐based LED. Methods: This consisted of 2.5 litres/day of semi‐skimmed milk, equivalent to approximately 1200 kcal/day, with supplemental micronutrients. Weight, height, body mass index and lipid profiles before and after eight weeks in the programme were compared in per‐protocol analyses using a paired t‐test. Results: Of 30 bariatric patients enrolled, 18 completed the first eight weeks of the programme. Mean age was 52 (range 34‐66) years. 56% were female. Results in the table are presented as means ± SD. Conclusion: Bariatric patients who tolerated a milk‐based LED had significant weight loss and metabolic improvements, but attrition from the programme was high. The sustainability of these changes in the medium term remains to be determined, but more formal assessment of this intervention in a randomised controlled trial seems justified. (Table presented).