Impact of weight loss and maintenance with ad libitum diets varying in protein and glycemic index content on metabolic syndrome

Nutrition, Elsevier, ISSN 1873-1244

Volume 30, 4, 2014

DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2013.09.001, Dimensions: pub.1016157197, PMID: 24369912,



  1. (1) University of Bristol, grid.5337.2
  2. (2) University of Crete, grid.8127.c
  3. (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  4. (4) Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
  5. (5) MRC Human Nutrition Research, grid.415055.0
  6. (6) Charité, grid.6363.0
  7. (7) German Institute of Human Nutrition, grid.418213.d
  8. (8) University of Navarra, grid.5924.a
  9. (9) Department of Human Nutrition, Dietetics and Metabolic Diseases, National Multiprofile Transport Hospital, Sofia, Bulgaria
  10. (10) Institute of Endocrinology, grid.418976.5
  11. (11) Copenhagen University Hospital, grid.4973.9, Capital Region


OBJECTIVES: We investigated the effects of weight loss and maintenance with diets that varied with regard to protein content and glycemic index (GI) on metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) status. METHODS: Secondary analyses were performed within the Diet, Obesity and Genes (DiOGenes) study (2006-2008), a randomized controlled dietary intervention. Nine hundred and thirty-eight overweight and obese adults from eight European countries entered an 8-wk low-calorie-diet period. Seven hundred and seventy-three adults who lost at least 8% of their body weights were randomized to one of five ad libitum diets for 6 mo: 1) low-protein (LP)/low-GI (LGI); 2) LP/high-GI (HGI); 3) high-protein (HP)/LGI; 4) HP/HGI; and 5) control diet. MetSyn prevalence and a standardized MetSyn score were assessed at baseline, after the low-calorie diet, and after the intervention. RESULTS: Weight loss among participants while on the low-calorie diet significantly reduced MetSyn prevalence (33.9% versus 15.9%; P < 0.001) and MetSyn score (-1.48 versus -4.45; P < 0.001). During weight maintenance, significant changes in MetSyn score were observed between the groups, with the highest increase detected in the LP/HGI group (P = 0.039, partial η(2) = 0.023). Protein, GI, and their interaction did not have isolated effects on study outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Neither protein nor GI affected MetSyn status in this sample of European overweight and obese adults. However, a diet with a combination of an increased protein-to-carbohydrate ratio with low-GI foods had beneficial effects on MetSyn factors.


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