Dietary Restriction Provides Benefits Beyond Weight Loss Interview with:
Edward “Ted” Weiss, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Saint Louis University Saint Louis MO

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Weiss:  Results from one of our previous study yielded a surprising result that diet-induced weight loss improved insulin sensitivity (major diabetes risk factor) by the same amount as exercise induced weight loss. We thought that the exercise-induced weight loss would have yielded benefits from the weight loss itself but also from a weight loss-independent benefit that has been reported in other studies. One explanation for dietary restriction providing the same benefit of exercise was that it also provides benefits besides those that are attributable to weight loss. Our recently completed/published study was designed to evaluate this possibility and the finding do suggest what we hypothesized… i.e. that dietary restriction provides benefits above and beyond that which are attributable to weight loss.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Weiss:  For individuals with excess body weight/fat, weight loss provides clear health benefits; therefore, weight loss strategies should be discussed with and encouraged in these patients (surprisingly, studies show that many physicians do not address this with patients). The findings from our study add to what was already known by showing that both diet and exercise provide benefits that don’t appear to be directly attributable to weight loss. Thus, healthy diet and exercise behaviors should always be encouraged and pursued regardless of whether it results in weight loss and regardless of whether weight loss is needed (for example then people can benefit from a healthy diet and exercise).

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Weiss:  We are currently developing a study to identify the weight loss-independent mechanisms by which dietary restriction and exercise improve insulin sensitivity. Preliminary data from our recently published study suggest that some of the adaptations may involve hormones that are secreted from the intestines after a meal (i.e. incretin hormones, especially GLP-1).


Diabetes Care. 2015 Apr 15. pii: dc142913. [Epub ahead of print]

Calorie Restriction and Matched Weight Loss From Exercise: Independent and Additive Effects on Glucoregulation and the Incretin System in Overweight Women and Men.

Weiss EP, Albert SG, Reeds DN, Kress KS, Ezekiel UR McDaniel JL, Patterson BW, Klein S, Villareal DT

[wysija_form id=”3″] Interview with: Edward “Ted” Weiss, Ph.D. (2015). Dietary Restriction Provides Benefits Beyond Weight Loss 

Please follow and like us: