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Preventing Obesity Using Novel Dietary Strategies

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00072995
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 17, 2003
Last Update Posted : January 30, 2013
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Frank M. Sacks, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brief Summary:
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 or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Cardiovascular Diseases Heart Diseases Obesity Behavioral: Four Diets Differing in Macronutrient Composition Behavioral: Diets Low in Saturated Fat Not Applicable

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 www.poundslost.org. For Baton Rouge participants, contact: schoensj@pbrc.edu or 225-763-2623.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 811 participants
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies (Pounds Lost)
Study Start Date : September 2003
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2007
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2007

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

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Body fat
  2. BMI
  3. Waist circumference
  4. Visceral fat
  5. Hepatic and skeletal muscle
  6. Psychological factors from diet
  7. Major cardiovascular risk factors
  8. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (measured at Year 2)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   30 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
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

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00072995

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

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Responsible Party: Frank M. Sacks, Professor of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00072995    
Other Study ID Numbers: 1238
U01HL073286 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: November 17, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 30, 2013
Last Verified: January 2013
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight