Review of 3-year outcomes of a very-low-energy diet-based outpatient obesity treatment programme Academic Article uri icon


  • Obesity is a complex disorder that requires a multidisciplinary treatment approach. This review evaluated 3-year outcomes of a very-low-energy diet (VLED)-based programme at a tertiary hospital multidisciplinary weight management clinic. Medical records of all patients who agreed to undertake the VLED programme and who did not undergo bariatric surgery during the 3-year follow-up period were examined. Baseline data collection included demographic and anthropometric characteristics, childhood onset of obesity and co-existing medical conditions. Weight was modelled using a linear mixed effects analysis. Logistic regression analyses were used to model the probability of continuing to attend the clinic and to identify pre-treatment factors associated with longer duration of attendance. Data from 1109 patients were included. A total of 231 patients (19.2%) were still attending the clinic 3 years after their initial appointment. Mean weight loss among patients who attended the clinic for 3 years was 6.4 kg (3.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.8, 4.2%). People who were prescribed pharmacotherapy maintained greater weight loss at 3 years (7.7% vs. 2.3% without pharmacotherapy, 95% CI for difference 3.9, 7.0%). People who had an onset of obesity in childhood, who had co-existing hypertension or coronary artery disease, and who did not currently smoke were more likely to continue to attend the clinic for up to 3 years. In summary, in an outpatient weight management clinic, patients who undertook a VLED-based programme and continued in follow-up achieved a clinically significant weight loss at 3 years, particularly if pharmacotherapy was used for weight loss maintenance.

publication date

  • 2016