Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 633–640 | Cite as

Comparison of two low-calorie diets: A prospective study of effectiveness and safety

  • O. Moreno
  • A. Meoro
  • A. Martinez
  • C. Rodriguez
  • C. Pardo
  • S. Aznar
  • P. Lopez
  • J. Serrano
  • E. Boix
  • M. D. Martin
  • A. M. Pico Alfonso
Original Articles


Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness and safety of two distinct low calorie diets (LCD). Design: Prospective controlled study. Methods: 67 obese patients [body mass index (BMI) 40 kg/m2] were included in two study groups. Group A: 26 patients followed a 458 kcal diet given in three meals for 1 month. Group B: 41 patients followed a 800 kcal diet for 3 months and with outpatient control. Measurements: Anthropometric, cardiovascular risk and nutritional profile changes were evaluated, as well as total direct and indirect costs, and the incidence of complications. Results: No significant initial differences were observed between the two study groups. Eighty-six point two per cent of the patients completed the therapy correctly. After treatment a significant decrease was observed in the following variables for both groups, but no differences were detected between Groups A and B: mean weight loss (A= 9.28 kg, B= 8.7 kg), ponderal loss percentage (A/B= 7.2/6.8%), glycemia (A/B= 18.6/12.1 mg/dl), systolic blood pressure (SBP) (A/B= 11.8/6.5 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (A/B 5.9/6.8 mmHg), and final insulin-resistance (IR) index (A= 4.4, B= 4.3). Group A had the highest drop in total cholesterol (37.7 vs 8.1 mg/dl) and triglycerides (54.4 vs 2.5 mg/dl). No changes were observed in ureic acid, renal function and serum albumin. Thirty-six patients (55.3%) suffered trivial complications associated to the VLCD (16.9% gastrointestinal, 20% anxiety), with no differences between groups. Group A patients were on sick leave due to asthenia, and two patients in this group had serious complications (transient ischemic attack and atrial fibrillation). The total cost of Group A treatment was 3018.9 against 582.6 euros for Group B. Conclusions: The 3-month 800 kcal/day VLCD was more cost-effective and safer than the 1-month 458 kcal/day diet.


Obesity body mass index low-calorie diet cost-effective metabolic syndrome 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Moreno
    • 1
  • A. Meoro
    • 1
  • A. Martinez
    • 1
  • C. Rodriguez
    • 1
  • C. Pardo
    • 1
  • S. Aznar
    • 1
  • P. Lopez
    • 1
  • J. Serrano
    • 1
  • E. Boix
    • 1
  • M. D. Martin
    • 1
  • A. M. Pico Alfonso
    • 1
  1. 1.Endocrinology and Nutrition SectionAlicante General University HospitalAlicanteSpain

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