Research: Milk-based intensive intervention for obese.

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Milk-based interventions work for fat loss.  

Obese belly in a mirror

Today, many folks question the benefit of animal and dairy-based diets.  In modern society, dairy-based drinks and foods are convenient and widely available.  Therapeutic options for patients that are overweight are limited.  The medications have a lot of side-effects.  The evidence is scant to support the use of many of the reduced calorie dairy-based drinks that are available in your local grocery store.

If we could find evidence that these lower energy meal replacements work, they might be an ideal and convenient meal for people on the go.  The good news is that there is a new study that looked at this very issue[1]. Researchers sought to determine the effect on body composition (fat) and a patient’s risk for cardiovascular disease.   Two hundred and six obese subjects were enrolled in the study and placed on an inexpensive 24-week regime based on meal replacement with milk-based drinks.   Only 112 subjects completed the study from weight loss through 8 weeks of maintenance.  Despite the high attrition rate, the use of these meal replacement product resulted in significant weight loss and improved cardiovascular risk factors (Hemoglobin A1C).  

The bottom line:  These findings suggest that a 24-week diet based on milk-based meal replacement products can have a significant effect on important outcomes in the obese. As with any diet, attrition was high.   These diets are not much different than many of the commercial products such as Slimfast.  A larger assessment study of dairy-based meal replacement is warranted to look at efficacy, safety, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness.


I. A. Ioana et al., “Anthropometric and metabolic effects of a milk-based intensive lifestyle intervention in severely obese adults,” EJEA, May 2017 [Online]. Available: 10.1530/endoabs.49.EP720″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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