Abstract

Severe obesity and associated comorbidities are an increasingly prevalent problem. In the treatment of obesity, diet as wellas physical exercise is the most common prescription given. Intensive treatments (i.e. VLCD diet or surgery) are effective.However, in addition to weight loss, it is crucial to monitor changes in body composition. In this study, it is observed the changein body composition after a very low calorie diet (VLCD) cycle. To this end, patients with class II-III obesity were selected.Over the last year, they followed a VLCD diet for 6 weeks (which provided them with 654 kcal, 75 g of carbohydrates, 13.5 gof fat, 52.8 g of protein and 11.4 g of fiber). In every patient, anthropometric measurements, ultrasounds (US) of the tricipitaladipose tissue and bioimpedance vector analysis were carried out at baseline and after the diet. We selected 37 patients (10 malesand 27 females) with an average age of 45.1 ± 10.4 years old. After 6 weeks of treatment, statistical differences (p<0.001) wereobserved in weight, body mass index, arm circumference, arm area and arm fat area, hip and abdominal circumference, total fatmass, visceral fat and skeletal muscle mass. However, no statistically significant differences were observed in the US of tricipitaladipose tissue, muscle strength, lean mass, or body water. Therefore, it can be concluded that the treatment with VLCD diet for6 weeks is effective in patients with obesity. Depletion occurs in total fat mass, both visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue.The significant loss of muscle mass is indicative of protein malnutrition. According to the results obtained, it may be useful toadjust the protein intake to meet the requirements of each patient in order to avoid muscular depletion.Icíar Castro de la VegaNutritionist with a postgraduate in Nutrition and Health, Professional experience in Clinical Nutrition in a Public Hospital inSpain