The Diogenes project

Targeting the obesity problem: seeking new insights and routes to prevention
Link to Sixth Framework Programme

  Contract no. FP6-513946                 Priority 5: Food Quality and Safety
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Pan European
Weight Loss Study

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Supermarket study
Other weight loss studies



Pan-European Weight Loss Study

There is a huge amount of advice available to consumers today on how to control their weight. There is also a vast array of calorie-counted or calorie-controlled foods, but in spite of all this help large numbers of people across Europe are continuing to gain weight. When they try to lose weight, if they are successful, they subsequently find it very difficult to keep the weight off.

This weight-loss study, which is one of the central pillars of the Diogenes project, aims to identify the diet which will be most effective in preventing weight gain and weight regain. We are looking at the effectiveness and safety of diets varying in glycaemic index (GI) and protein content, since there is some evidence that both of these factors can influence the success, or otherwise, of a weight-loss diet by affecting appetite, or the feeling of being full, which is called satiety.

The Dietary Intervention Study is being carried out in 8 centres across Europe.
The study is registered at at accession number NCT00390637.
Click here for more information.

The 8 centres in the study are:

Denmark: The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen

The Netherlands
: Maastricht University, Maastricht

National Medical Transport Institute, Sofia

Czech Republic
: Institute of Endocrinology, Prague

: German Institute of Human Nutrition, Potsdam

: University of Crete, Heraklion

: University of Navarra, Pamplona

: Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge

A special feature of the study is that it has been carried out with families. In total the study has involved the recruitment of over four hundred volunteer families. Within each family, we have looked for one overweight or obese parent and one child who can be either normal weight or obese.

Each parent has undergone an eight-week weight loss diet (using a low calorie diet formula), which has been designed to achieve a weight loss of 8% of their original starting weight. If the parents were successful in meeting this target, they have been offered the opportunity to participate in the next stage of the study, which is investigating the problem of weight re-gain. In this part of the study, volunteers have been assigned to one of five different dietary regimes, designed to test the relative effectiveness of Glycemic Index (GI) and protein content in weight control.

The diets were:
Group 1: Low Protein, Low glycemic Index.
Group 2: Low Protein, High glycemic Index.
Group 3: High Protein, Low glycemic Index.
Group 4: High Protein, High glycemic Index.
Group 5: Control Diet, medium protein and medium glycemic index.
here to see what a day's food has looked like for the different diets.

Protein is primarily found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.
Examples of foods low in GI are beans and whole grain (whole kernel) breads, whereas foods high in GI are potatoes and refined white (no kernels) breads.

A unique feature of this study has been the research supermarkets, which have been designed and built in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Maastricht (the Netherlands).

Find out more about the research supermarkets here.

For more about the study in the other six centres click here.

We have been very grateful to our sponsors and suppliers of foods and products for our supermarkets - find out who they are here.


© 2005 - Diogenes