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Preventing Obesity Using Novel Dietary Strategies

This study has been completed.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Frank M. Sacks, Brigham and Women's Hospital Identifier:
First received: November 13, 2003
Last updated: January 29, 2013
Last verified: January 2013
The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness for weight loss and weight maintenance of four diets differing in macronutrient composition: moderate in fat (40 percent energy) with two different protein levels (15 percent and 25 percent), and low in fat (20 percent energy), also with 15 percent and 25 percent protein levels. The study is only accepting participants in the Boston, Massachusetts or Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. For further enrollment information in Boston or Baton Rouge, see Eligibility Criteria or Design Narrative.

Condition Intervention
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Behavioral: Four Diets Differing in Macronutrient Composition
Behavioral: Diets Low in Saturated Fat

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies (Pounds Lost)

Further study details as provided by Frank M. Sacks, Brigham and Women's Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in body weight (measured at Year 2)

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Body fat
  • BMI
  • Waist circumference
  • Visceral fat
  • Hepatic and skeletal muscle
  • Psychological factors from diet
  • Major cardiovascular risk factors
  • Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (measured at Year 2)

Estimated Enrollment: 811
Study Start Date: September 2003
Study Completion Date: December 2007
Primary Completion Date: December 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:


Obesity is a growing problem whose importance is reflected in the resources that are expended each year by a large section of the population on weight reduction drugs and therapies. Although numerous weight loss diets are available, there is little agreement in the scientific literature or the lay press as to the amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrates that would comprise the most efficacious diet for weight loss and long term weight loss retention. Reliable information about the effectiveness of low calorie diets with differing macronutrient composition is clearly needed and of paramount importance to inform the choice of a weight reduction diet.


The study tests the effectiveness for weight loss and weight maintenance of four diets differing in macronutrient composition: moderate in fat (40% energy) with two different protein levels (15% and 25%), and low in fat (20% energy), also with 15% and 25% protein levels. The moderate-fat diet will be patterned after a Mediterranean diet. All four dietary approaches will be low in saturated fat, and will involve reduction in total energy intake. Each diet is deemed practical and suitable for public health recommendations, and each would be expected to have a favorable effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors. All participants will receive a state-of-the-art behavioral therapy program standardized across the two centers in Boston and Baton Rouge. An estimated 800 men and women, age 30-70 years, body mass index (BMI) 25-40 kg/m2, will be randomized among the 4 dietary treatments. The primary outcome variable will be change in total body weight from baseline to 2 years. Secondary outcomes related to obesity are body fat, BMI, waist circumference, visceral fat, and hepatic and skeletal muscle fat. Other outcomes are psychological factors (diet satisfaction, satiety, food craving, dietary restraint, disinhibition and hunger, and quality of life); major cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure, low density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol, high density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol, and triglycerides); prevalence of the metabolic syndrome; blood glucose, insulin, and hemoglobin A1C; emerging cardiovascular risk factors (apolipoprotein B, VLDL and LDL particles with apolipoprotein C-III, lipoprotein[a]); microalbuminuria; and bone mineral content. The primary results will be straightforwardly applicable to public health and clinical guidelines for obesity and will increase our understanding of the biology of obesity and weight loss.

The study is only accepting participants in the Boston, Massachusetts or Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. For Boston participants, contact: 617-998-1047 or For Baton Rouge participants, contact: or 225-763-2623.


Ages Eligible for Study:   30 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Only accepting participants in the Boston, Massachusetts or Baton Rouge, Louisiana area
  • Between the ages of 30 - 70
  • Willing to modify eating pattern according to instructions
  • Overweight or obese and in good health with a BMI of 25-40
  • Committed to a long-term weight loss and maintenance program
  • Willing to attend multiple weight loss group sessions
  • Willing to increase activity level

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
  • Unwilling to participate in the schedule of group sessions and individual visits
  • Unstable or recent onset of heart disease or any other serious illness
  • Cannot change diet due to medical or other reasons
  • Planning to leave the area prior to the anticipated end of participation
  • Current participation in another clinical trial with an intervention that affects weight change
  • Have diabetes that is treated with insulin or hypoglycemic oral medicines
  • Diagnosis of psychiatric or emotional problems within 6 months of study
  • Currently have an eating disorder
  • Have hypothyroidism
  • Have an unstable weight
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00072995

United States, Louisiana
Pennington Biomedical Reseach Center, Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States, 70808
United States, Massachusetts
Harvard University School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Sponsors and Collaborators
Brigham and Women's Hospital
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):

Responsible Party: Frank M. Sacks, Professor of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital Identifier: NCT00072995     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1238
U01HL073286 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: November 13, 2003
Last Updated: January 29, 2013

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on May 25, 2017