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Weight loss for women with and without polycystic ovary syndrome following a very low-calorie diet in a community-based setting with trained facilitators for 12 weeks

Authors Nikokavoura EA, Johnston K, Broom J, Wrieden W, Rolland C

Received 20 March 2015

Accepted for publication 6 May 2015

Published 14 October 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 495—503


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou

Efsevia A Nikokavoura,1 Kelly L Johnston,2 John Broom,1 Wendy L Wrieden,1 Catherine Rolland1

1Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology, Institute for Health & Wellbeing Research (IHWR), Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 2LighterLife UK Limited, Harlow, Essex, UK

Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects between 2% and 26% of reproductive-age women in the UK, and accounts for up to 75% of anovulatory infertility. The major symptoms include ovarian disruption, hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and polycystic ovaries. Interestingly, at least half of the women with PCOS are obese, with the excess weight playing a pathogenic role in the development and progress of the syndrome. The first-line treatment option for overweight/obese women with PCOS is diet and lifestyle interventions; however, optimal dietary guidelines are missing. Although many different dietary approaches have been investigated, data on the effectiveness of very low-calorie diets on PCOS are very limited.
Materials and methods: The aim of this paper was to investigate how overweight/obese women with PCOS responded to LighterLife Total, a commercial very low-calorie diet, in conjunction with group behavioral change sessions when compared to women without PCOS (non-PCOS).
Results: PCOS (n=508) and non-PCOS (n=508) participants were matched for age (age ±1 unit) and body mass index (body mass index ±1 unit). A 12-week completers analysis showed that the total weight loss did not differ significantly between PCOS (n=137) and non-PCOS participants (n=137) (–18.5±6.6 kg vs –19.4±5.7 kg, P=0.190). Similarly, the percentage of weight loss achieved by both groups was not significantly different (PCOS 17.1%±5.6% vs non-PCOS 18.2%±4.4%, P=0.08).
Conclusion: Overall, LighterLife Total could be an effective weight-loss strategy in overweight/obese women with PCOS. However, further investigations are needed to achieve a thorough way of understanding the physiology of weight loss in PCOS.

Keywords: obesity, PCOS, LighterLife, VLCD

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