Effects of a low carbohydrate diet on energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance: randomized trial
Cara B. Ebbeling, Henry A. Feldman, Gloria L. Klein, Julia M.W. Wong, Lisa Bielek Bielek, Sarah K. Steltz, Patricia K. Louto, Robert R. Wolfe, William W. Wong, and David S. Ludwig
From the abstract "OBJECTIVE To determine the effects of diets varying in carbohydrate to fat ratio on total energy expenditure. DESIGN Randomized trial. SETTING Multicenter collaboration at US two sites, August 2014 to May 2017. PARTICIPANTS 164 adults aged 18-65 years with a body mass index of 25 or more. INTERVENTIONS After 12% (within 2%) weight loss on a run-in diet, participants were randomly assigned to one of three test diets according to carbohydrate content (high, 60%, n=54; moderate, 40%, n=53; or low, 20%, n=57) for 20 weeks. Test diets were controlled for protein and were energy adjusted to maintain weight loss within 2 kg. To test for effect modification predicted by the carbohydrate-insulin model, the sample was divided into thirds of pre-weight loss insulin secretion (insulin concentration 30 minutes after oral glucose). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary outcome was total energy expenditure, measured with doubly labeled water, by intentionto-treat analysis. Per protocol analysis included participants who maintained target weight loss, potentially providing a more precise effect estimate. Secondary outcomes were resting energy expenditure, measures of physical activity, and levels of the metabolic hormones leptin and ghrelin. RESULTS Total energy expenditure differed by diet in the intention-to-treat analysis (n=162, P=0.002), with a linear trend of 52 kcal/d (95% confidence interval 23 to 82) for every 10% decrease in the contribution of carbohydrate to total energy intake (1 kcal=4.18 kJ=0.00418 MJ). Change in total energy expenditure was 91 kcal/d (95% confidence interval −29 to 210) greater in participants assigned to the moderate carbohydrate diet and 209 kcal/d (91 to 326) greater in those assigned to the low carbohydrate diet compared with the high carbohydrate diet. In the per protocol analysis (n=120, P<0.001), the respective differences were 131 kcal/d (−6 to 267) and 278 kcal/d (144 to 411). Among participants in the highest third of pre-weight loss insulin secretion, the difference between the low and high carbohydrate diet was 308 kcal/d in the intention-to-treat analysis and 478 kcal/d in the per protocol analysis (P<0.004). Ghrelin was significantly lower in participants assigned to the low carbohydrate diet compared with those assigned to the high carbohydrate diet (both analyses). Leptin was also significantly lower in participants assigned to the low carbohydrate diet (per protocol). CONCLUSIONS Consistent with the carbohydrate-insulin model, lowering dietary carbohydrate increased energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance. This metabolic effect may improve the success of obesity treatment, especially among those with high insulin secretion. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02068885. "
Cara B. Ebbeling, Gloria L. Klein, Julia M W Wong, Lisa Bielek, Patricia K. Louto, David S. Ludwig, Ralph G. Eddy, Lauren Stone, Paul R. Lakin, Megan Sandman, Courtenay Devlin, Linda Seger-Shippee, and Dina Wiroll
A research team from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted a community-based feeding study in collaboration with Framingham State University (FSU) and Sodexo, the food service contractor at FSU. The study was a randomized controlled trial, implemented on the FSU campus. For the final year of the study, a satellite feeding site was established at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. The purpose of the study was to assess the biological effects of different macronutrient diets. An academia-industry partnership was developed to overcome common challenges associated with hospital-based feeding studies. Benefits included the following: a study site outside of Boston (reducing inconvenience for participants), access to a large commercial kitchen and study-specific kiosk (promoting efficiency), collaboration with Sodexo chefs (ensuring palatability of meals), and opportunity to procure food from contracted vendors. The research (academia) and food service (industry) teams worked together to design, plan, and execute intervention protocols using an integrated approach. During execution, the research team was primarily responsible for overseeing treatment fidelity, whereas the food service team provided culinary expertise, with a strong focus on hospitality and food quality. The study was conducted in 3 cohorts between August 2014 and May 2017. Participants received all of their food for ∼30 wk, totaling >160,000 meals. For all 3 cohorts combined, 234 participants provided informed consent, 229 started a standard run-in weight-loss diet, 164 lost a mean ± SD 12% ± 2% of baseline body weight and were randomly assigned to different macronutrient diets for weight-loss maintenance, and 148 completed the study. During the final and largest cohort, as many as 114 participants received daily meals concurrently. The daily cost per participant for preparation and service of weighed meals and snacks was ∼$65. This academia-industry partnership provides a model for controlled feeding protocols in nutrition research, potentially with enhanced cost-effectiveness, practicality, and generalizability. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02068885. Curr Dev Nutr 2018;2:nzy060.
A randomized study of dietary composition during weight-loss maintenance: Rationale, study design, intervention, and assessment
Cara B. Ebbeling, Gloria L. Klein, Patricia K. Luoto, Julia M.W. Wong, Lisa Bielek, Ralph G. Eddy, Sarah K. Steltz, Courtenay Devlin, Megan Sandman, Bridget Hron, Kim Shimy, Steven B. Heymsfield, Robert R. Wolfe, William W. Wong, Henry A. Feldman, and David S. Ludwig
Background: While many people with overweight or obesity can lose weight temporarily, most have difficulty maintaining weight loss over the long term. Studies of dietary composition typically focus on weight loss, rather than weight-loss maintenance, and rely on nutrition education and dietary counseling, rather than controlled feeding protocols. Variation in initial weight loss and insufficient differentiation among treatments confound interpretation of results and compromise conclusions regarding the weight-independent effects of dietary composition. The aim of the present study was to evaluate three test diets differing in carbohydrate-to-fat ratio during weight-loss maintenance. Design and dietary interventions: Following weight loss corresponding to 12 ± 2% of baseline body weight on a standard run-in diet, 164 participants aged 18 to 65 years were randomly assigned to one of three test diets for weight-loss maintenance through 20 weeks (test phase). We fed them high-carbohydrate (60% of energy from carbohydrate, 20% fat), moderate-carbohydrate (40% carbohydrate, 40% fat), and low-carbohydrate (20% carbohydrate, 60% fat) diets, controlled for protein content (20% of energy). During a 2-week ad libitum feeding phase following the test phase, we assessed the effect of the test diets on body weight. Outcomes: The primary outcome was total energy expenditure, assessed by doubly-labeled water methodology. Secondary outcomes included resting energy expenditure and physical activity, chronic disease risk factors, and variables to inform an understanding of physiological mechanisms by which dietary carbohydrate-to-fat ratio might influence metabolism.
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