Weight Management Using a Meal Replacement Strategy in Type 2 Diabetes


The growing prevalence of diabetes parallels the increased prevalence of obesity. Overweight and obese individuals with diabetes who attempt weight reduction face considerable challenges. However, several recent studies showed that weight reduction in patients with diabetes is feasible using a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates structured dietary intervention and meal replacements (MRs). Nutritionally complete MRs are shown to be useful at the start of weight reduction programs and for weight maintenance because of their nutrition adequacy. However, patients using this approach need to monitor their blood glucose levels closely and may need to adjust their diabetes medications. Most commercial MRs are currently fortified with vitamins and minerals to prevent long-term deficiency in essential micronutrients that are commonly seen in low-calorie diet plans. They also come in different flavors and formats that improve their general acceptability. To successfully initiate weight loss, MRs are generally used as absolute replacement of an agreed upon number of meals/snacks. This article covers the use of MRs for patients with diabetes for short-term and long-term weight reduction in clinical trials and real-world clinical practice.

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Debbie Zwiefelhofer works for Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition, which manufacturers three products mentioned in this article (BOOST Glucose Control, BOOST Nutritional Energy Drink and Optifast Shake). The material presented about these products is based on the best-known clinical evidence and is not affected by this financial relationship. No other potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.

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Correspondence to Osama Hamdy.

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Hamdy, O., Zwiefelhofer, D. Weight Management Using a Meal Replacement Strategy in Type 2 Diabetes. Curr Diab Rep 10, 159–164 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-010-0103-9

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  • Meal replacement
  • Weight management
  • Type 2 diabetes