A recent clinical trial conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia has demonstrated that postmenopausal obese women can lose weight through both moderate and severe energy restriction diets, but moderate energy restriction is preferable because it causes a lower decrease in muscle and bone mass compared to severe energy restriction.
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a health risk. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.
Obesity is not just a cosmetic concern; it is a medical condition that is one of the leading causes of morbidity in the world with over 4 million people dying of obesity-related complications each year according to the World Health Organization.
Many different therapeutic interventions are available these days including calorie-restricted diets, therapeutic drugs, supplements, and exercise plans. However, the safety and efficacy of these interventions are yet to be determined.
Clinical research, named TEMPO Diet Clinical Trial, was conducted in New South Wales, Australia aimed at investigating the impact of moderate and severe energy restriction diets on lean mass and body composition among postmenopausal obese women.
It involved 101 women between the ages of 45 to 65 years with a BMI of 30 to 40 kg/m².
These women were divided into two groups
- Moderate energy restriction (calorie deficit 25-35%)
- Severe energy restriction (calorie deficit 65-75%)
The participants were given these diets for 12 months.
The clinical study found that both groups lost weight, with an average weight loss of 10.6 kg in the severe energy restriction group and 8.6 kg in the moderate energy restriction group. However, the severe energy restriction group had a greater loss of lean mass compared to the moderate energy restriction group. The severe energy restriction group lost 1.6 kg of lean mass compared to 0.9 kg in the moderate energy restriction group.
Lean mass is important because it includes the body's muscles, bones, and organs, and is critical for overall health and physical function. Losing lean mass can lead to weakness, fatigue, and a decrease in metabolic rate. As a result, loss in lean mass can have adverse effects on the body.
The clinical trial, suggests that a moderate energy restriction diet is a better option for achieving weight loss in obese women as it has lower adverse effects due to the loss of bone and muscle mass.
In conclusion, the clinical study advocates the use of a balanced approach to weight loss. It also highlights the need for individualized weight loss plans that consider patient factors such as age, gender, and overall body composition.
While a severe energy restriction diet may lead to rapid weight loss, it may not be sustainable in the long run and may have negative effects on the person’s health. A moderate energy restriction diet is thus a more suitable option.