Portion controlled ready-to-eat meal replacement is associated with short term weight loss: a randomised controlled trial

Authors : Kuriyan R, Lokesh DP, D'Souza N, Priscilla DJ, Peris CH, Selvam S, Kurpad AV

Publication Year : 2017

Abstract :


Strategies to prevent and treat overweight/obesity are urgently needed. This study assessed the effect of a short-term intake of ready-to-eat cereal on body weight and waist circumference of overweight/obese individuals in comparison to a control group.


A randomized, controlled 2-arm trial was carried out on 101 overweight/obese (Body Mass Index - 29.2±2.4 kg/m2) females aged 18 to 44 years, at St. John's Medical College Hospital. The intervention group received a low fat, ready to eat cereal, replacing two meals/day for two weeks. The control group was provided with standard dietary guidelines for weight loss and energy requirements for both groups were calculated similarly. Anthropometric, dietary, appetite and health status assessments were carried out at baseline and at the end of two weeks.


At the end of two weeks, the mean reductions in body weight and waist circumference were significantly greater in the intervention group, -0.53 kg; 95% CI (-0.86 to -0.19) for body weight and -1.39 cm; 95% CI (-1.78, -0.99) for waist circumference. The intervention group had a significantly higher increase in dietary intakes of certain vitamins, fiber and sugar, and significantly higher reductions in total and polyunsaturated fats and sodium intakes, as compared to the control group (p<=0.05). No significant differences were observed between the groups, in change of appetite, health and perception scales.


Portion controlled, ready to eat cereal could be effective for short-term weight loss, with some improvements in the nutrient intake profile. However, studies of longer duration are needed.