Clinical research using Medifast protocols and products

Medifast uses both clinical research studies and retrospective analysis data from its Medifast clinics as the basis of its claim, “clinically proven.” An overview of Medifast clinical research is provided below.

Clinical Study 1

Davis, et al.Efficacy of a meal replacement diet plan compared to a food-based diet plan after a period of weight loss and weight maintenance: a randomized controlled trial.” Nutrition Journal, 9:11, 2010.

PURPOSE: A randomized, controlled trial to compare the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan with a low-calorie, food-based diet based on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

RESULTS: Subjects in the Medifast group initially lost an average of 12.3% of their body weight, while the other group lost an average of 6.9%. In addition to losing more weight, the subjects on the Medifast plan showed superior changes in body composition, losing five times more body fat and increasing their bodies’ proportion of lean muscle mass compared to those on the conventional food-based plan.

Clinical Study 1

REFERENCE: Crowell, M.D. & Cheskin L.J. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Multicenter Evaluation of Health Benefits and Weight Loss on the Medifast Weight Management Program.

PURPOSE: To retrospectively evaluate the efficacy of a medically supervised, protein-supplemented modified fasting program (Medifast) for weight reduction and to evaluate the impact of weight reduction on coexisting health problems.

RESULTS: Medically supervised, protein-sparing modified fasts offer a safe and effective means of weight reduction and are accompanied by significant improvements in coexisting health problems. Of samples taken, males lost an average of 67 lbs and females lost an average of 47 lbs during fasting. The study found significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as the normalizing of blood pressure and hypertensive patients.

Clinical Study 2

REFERENCE: Cheskin, MD, FACP; Mitchell, MS; Lewis, BA; Jhaveri, MD Yep, BS. Johns Hopkins University School of Bloomberg Public Health. “Efficacy of 2 Diet Plans Designed for People with Type 2 Diabetes on Weight and Health Measures.” The Diabetes Educator. 2008 January/February

PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of the standard ADA (American Diabeties Association) self-selected diet (SD) vs. a portion-controlled diabetic food diet (PCD) in obese patients with NIDDM. The study also evaluated not only the metabolic effects in the long term, but also compliance and any consequent medication changes in patients of the two weight loss regimens (16-34 weeks of active weight loss, 52 weeks of maintenance). The meal replacements (Medifast) used in this study are soy-based products (bars, shakes, soups) that are considerably lower in sugar than their non-diabetic counterparts and other popular diet products on the market.

RESULTS:Significantly greater results were achieved after the initial 34 weeks of weight loss by participants in the PCD group in pounds and percent weight loss, insulin level and hemoglobin A1c. The PCD group also saw significant improvements within group in BMI, systolic BP, diastolic BP, waist/hip measurements, cholesterol, HDL triglycerides, glucose and percent body fat. Dropout rates were less in the PCD in both weight loss and weight maintenance. During weight loss, participants in the PCD group significantly decreased their use of medications to treat Type 2 DM. Participants in the PCD group also self-reported higher ease of compliance with the diet compared to the SD group (64.2% vs. 56.0%).
Researchers recommended that a PCD be considered for type 2 diabetics desiring weight loss, but that periodic use of SD during weight maintenance will not adversely affect weight loss efforts. The research supports that using a portion-controlled diet will produce comparable if not better outcomes in type 2 diabetics attempting to control their weight.

The study was published in the 2008 January/February issue of The Diabetes Educator. The peer-reviewed journal is the official journal of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The study was also presented at American Diabetes Association’s 65th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, CA, June 11, 2005.


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