OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether pre-treatment subject characteristics and weight change during the first weeks of a low-calorie diet (LCD) can predict weight loss outcomes at the end of a controlled 8-week weight loss period in overweight and obese adults. SUBJECTS: A total of 932 overweight and obese subjects of both genders were included at eight European centers, and underwent an 8-week LCD period. RESULTS: The weight loss at week 8 was positively correlated with initial body weight (Spearman's rho=0.62), height (rho=0.43), body mass index (rho=0.43), waist (rho=0.48) and hip circumference (rho=0.33), sagittal diameter (rho=0.45), fat mass (rho=0.35) and fat-free mass (rho=0.52), and gender (rho=-0.36) (all P<0.01). In the multivariate regression model, adjusted for center, only initial body weight, early weight loss (week 1) and weight loss at week 3 were significant predictors of weight loss outcome at week 8: weight loss (kg) at week 8=0.09+0.046 x baseline body weight (kg)-0.311 x weight loss (kg) at week 1+1.284 x weight loss (kg) at week 3 (R(2)=68%, P<0.0001). A weight loss of > or =2.6 kg at week 1 during the LCD period was identified as the optimal cut-off predictor for at least 10 kg weight loss at week 8. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that initial body weight, early weight loss (week 1) and weight loss at week 3 are predictors of final weight loss during an 8-week LCD, and may be used as early biomarkers of subsequent responses to an LCD diet.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Clin Nutr

Publication Date





994 - 999


Adult, Body Weight, Caloric Restriction, Diet, Reducing, Female, Humans, Male, Obesity, Overweight, Predictive Value of Tests, Reference Values, Sex Factors, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, Weight Loss