A randomized clinical trial of a standard versus vegetarian diet for weight loss: the impact of treatment preference.Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Jan; 32(1):166-76.IJ
With obesity rampant, methods to achieve sustained weight loss remain elusive.
To compare the long-term weight-loss efficacy of 2 cal and fat-restricted diets, standard (omnivorous) versus lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and to determine the effect of a chosen diet versus an assigned diet.
A randomized clinical trial was conducted with 176 adults who were sedentary and overweight (mean body mass index, 34.0 kg/m(2)). Participants were first randomly assigned to either receive their preferred diet or be assigned to a diet group and second, were given their diet of preference or randomly assigned to a standard weight-loss diet or a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. Participants underwent a university-based weight-control program consisting of daily dietary and exercise goals plus 12 months of behavioral counseling followed by a 6-month maintenance phase.
Percentage change in body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, low- and high-density lipoprotein, glucose, insulin and macronutrient intake.
The program was completed by 132 (75%) of the participants. At 18 months, mean percentage weight loss was greater (P=0.01) in the two groups that were assigned a diet (standard, 8.0% (s.d., 7.8%); vegetarian, 7.9% (s.d., 8.1%)) than in those provided the diet of their choice (standard, 3.9% (s.d., 6.1%); vegetarian, 5.3% (s.d., 6.2%)). No difference was observed in weight loss between the two types of diet. Over the 18-month program, all groups showed significant weight loss.
Participants assigned to their dietary preference did not have enhanced treatment outcomes. However, all groups lost weight with losses ranging from 4 to 8% at 18 months.