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Recommendations Summary

AWM: Portion Control and Meal Replacements/Structured Meal Plans 2014

Click here to see the explanation of recommendation ratings (Strong, Fair, Weak, Consensus, Insufficient Evidence) and labels (Imperative or Conditional). To see more detail on the evidence from which the following recommendations were drawn, use the hyperlinks in the Supporting Evidence Section below.


  • Recommendation(s)

    AWM: Portion Control and Meal Replacements/Structured Meal Plans

    For weight loss and weight maintenance, the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) should recommend portion control and meal replacements or structured meal plans as part of a comprehensive weight management program. Strong evidence documents a positive relationship between portion size and body weight and research reports that the use of various types of meal replacements or structured meal plans was helpful in achieving health and food behavior change.

    Rating: Strong
    Imperative

    • Risks/Harms of Implementing This Recommendation

      None.

    • Conditions of Application

      None.

    • Potential Costs Associated with Application

      Costs of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) sessions vary, however MNT sessions are essential for improved outcomes.

    • Recommendation Narrative

      From the Nutrition Counseling Project

      Four RCT studies (three positive-quality and one neutral-quality) assessed the efficacy of various types of meal replacement or structured meal plan strategies, as compared to self-selected diets in middle aged-adults and found the use of various types of meal replacements or structured meal plans helpful in achieving health and food behavior change in middle-aged adults (Wing et al, 1996; Metz et al, 1997; Ditschuneit et al, 1999; Flechter-Mors et al, 2000; Ashley et al, 2001; Ditschuneit and Flechter-Mors, 2001). Additional research is needed to determine if benefits derived from temporary use of these behavioral strategies can be sustained over time.

      From the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Nutrition Evidence Library (NEL) Evidence-Based Systematic Reviews

      What is the relationship between portion size and body weight?
      • Strong evidence documents a positive relationship between portion size and body weight.

    • Recommendation Strength Rationale

      The Conclusion Statement from the Nutrition Counseling project in support of this recommendation received:

      • What is the evidence that the behavioral strategy of meal replacements or structured meal plans, used as a component of a behavioral program, will result in health or food behavior change in adults counseled in an outpatient or clinic setting? Grade I.
      The Conclusion Statement for Energy Balance and Weight Management, Food Environment and Dietary Behaviors in support of this recommendation received a grade of Strong.

    • Minority Opinions

      Consensus reached.