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Meal Replacements are an Important Adjunct to Anti-Obesity Medications for Maintaining Healthy Nutrition

Meal Replacements are an Important Adjunct to Anti-Obesity Medications for Maintaining Healthy Nutrition

Daily inclusion of nutritional meal replacements helps assure that individuals prescribed anti-obesity medications will meet their nutritional needs to support a healthy metabolism while actively losing weight.

Ozempic and Wegovy have garnered much attention because of their efficacy in helping adults with obesity lose weight; however, a 2020 study funded by Novo Nordisk reported that the estimated mean energy intake was reduced by 47 percent for people using Semaglutide — a GLP-1 receptor agonist — for 20 weeks.1

Daily inclusion of nutritional meal replacements helps assure that individuals prescribed anti-obesity medications will meet their nutritional needs to support a healthy metabolism while actively losing weight.

 

Nutritional Needs of Patients on Anti-Obesity Medications and Reduced Energy Intake

To meet essential daily nutritional needs, a semaglutide diet plan should include meal replacements, providing 15 to 25 grams of protein, and three to six grams of dietary fiber. Supplemental vitamins and minerals are also recommended.

  1. Optimal Protein Intake2,3: Protein is essential to the synthesis and maintenance of lean muscle, major organs and metabolic functions in the body. When calorie intake is reduced, the body may utilize protein as source of energy which can decrease lean muscle mass. Semaglutide and protein intake can help maintain a healthy body composition. It is recommended to consume at least 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
  2. Adequate Fiber Intake4,5: Dietary fibers, particularly soluble prebiotic fibers, increase satiety, promote healthy blood sugar levels and support gut health. Fiber can also ameliorate digestive discomfort including constipation associated lower food intake, reduce bloating and support beneficial microflora, immune health and nutrient absorption. It is recommended to have a daily fiber intake of 28 grams per day.
  3. Appropriate Micronutrient Intake: Meeting the daily required levels of vitamins and minerals is important for overall health and metabolism. Daily intake of essential micronutrients is essential for metabolic functions including energy utilization, cognitive wellbeing, and to promote optimal health.

With unknown cumulative effects of nutritional deficits due to changes in appetite along with side-effects of anti-obesity medications, it is important to consider the well documented benefits of meal replacements in providing the nutritional supplementation needed when calorie intake is significantly reduced.

One thing is for certain: The rise of GLP-1 agonist drugs will continue. As clinicians, it’s important to be able to articulate evidence-based guidance to your patients on how to make their experience with the drug (and off the drug) a successful one. Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RDN, discussed this topic during a webinar which emphasized the critical importance of speaking with patients about healthy dietary patterns while on GLP-1 agonist drugs.

Dr. Holly F. Lofton, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery at NYU Langone Health, also stressed the important role of proper nutrition — as well as behavior education — in conjunction with anti-obesity medication therapy. Dr. Lofton reviewed study design and outcomes data for GLP-1 and GIP Receptor Agonists weight management trials in a webinar that looked at implementing the medications into a Low Calorie Diet (LCD).

The clinical importance of using meal replacements with anti-obesity medications is also stressed in a white paper that compiles the research of six highly regarded medical professionals on the importance of supplying proper nutrition to people utilizing the current diabetes/weight loss medications, including semaglutide or other GLP-1RAs.

 

Sources:

  1. Friedrichsen et al., “The Effect of Semaglutide 2.4 Mg Once Weekly on Energy Intake, Appetite, Control of Eating, and Gastric Emptying in Adults with Obesity.” Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism. 2021; 23(3).
  2. Wilding et al., “Impact of Semaglutide on Body Composition in Adults with Overweight or Obesity: Exploratory Analysis of the STEP 1 Study.” Journal of the Endocrine Society. 2021; 5(Supp_1).
  3. Carbone et al., “Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit.” Nutrients. 2019; 11(5).
  4. Fu et al., “Associations between Dietary Fiber Intake and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: An Umbrella Review of Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Frontiers in Nutrition. 2022; 9.
  5. Soliman, “Dietary Fiber, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease.” Nutrients. 2019; 11(5).

About Robard: For 45 years, Robard Corporation’s medical obesity treatment programs and nutrition products have been utilized by physicians, surgeons and hospitals across the United States to successfully treat patients living with obesity. To learn more about us and how we can help your practice and patients, visit us online at www.Robard.com, email us at info@robard.com, or call (800) 222-9201.

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