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Meal Replacement Plans Do Work

Study finds those on them for 10 years weighed less than those who weren't

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- People who followed a meal replacement plan for 10 years weighed, on average, about 33 pounds less than people who didn't use a meal replacement plan.

So says a U.S. study presented Oct. 13 at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity anual meeting in Fort Lauderdale.

This is one of the longest ever weight control studies to track how well people controlled their weight using a particular weight control program -- Slim-Fast shakes and bars in this case -- over a long period of time.

The study's senior author is Dr. George L. Blackburn, director of the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

The 130 people who used the meal replacements as part of their weight management program maintained an average weight loss of 6 pounds after 10 years. The 154 people in the control group who didn't use the meal replacements gained an average of almost 27 pounds over the same time period.

Overall, the average weight of the people in the control group was 32.6 pounds more after the 10 years than those in the meal replacement group.

The 44 men in the meal replacement group had an average weight loss of 7 pounds, while the women in that group had an average weight loss of 5.3 pounds over the decade of the study. In the control group, men gained an average of 25 pounds and women gained an average of 28 pounds.

The people in the study group were provided with free meal replacements.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about weight loss and control.

SOURCE: North American Association for the Study of Obesity, news release, Oct. 13, 2003
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