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Effect of Isocaloric, Time-Restricted Eating on Body Weight in Adults With Obesity : A Randomized Controlled Trial.

BACKGROUND: Time-restricted eating (TRE) lowers body weight in many studies. Whether TRE induces weight loss independent of reductions in calorie intake, as seen in rodent studies, is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of TRE versus a usual eating pattern (UEP) on body weight in the setting of stable caloric intake.

DESIGN: Randomized, isocaloric feeding study. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03527368).

SETTING: Clinical research unit.

PARTICIPANTS: Adults with obesity and prediabetes or diet-controlled diabetes.

INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to TRE (10-hour eating window, 80% of calories before 1 p.m.) or UEP (≤16-hour window, ≥50% of calories after 5 p.m.) for 12 weeks. Both groups had the same nutrient content and were isocaloric with total calories determined at baseline.

MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome was change in body weight at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes were fasting glucose, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), glucose area under the curve by oral glucose tolerance test, and glycated albumin. We used linear mixed models to evaluate the effect of interventions on outcomes.

RESULTS: All 41 randomly assigned participants (mean age, 59 years; 93% women; 93% Black race; mean BMI, 36 kg/m2 ) completed the intervention. Baseline weight was 95.6 kg (95% CI, 89.6 to 101.6 kg) in the TRE group and 103.7 kg (CI, 95.3 to 112.0 kg) in the UEP group. At 12 weeks, weight decreased by 2.3 kg (CI, 1.0 to 3.5 kg) in the TRE group and by 2.6 kg (CI, 1.5 to 3.7 kg) in the UEP group (average difference TRE vs. UEP, 0.3 kg [CI, -1.2 to 1.9 kg]). Change in glycemic measures did not differ between groups.

LIMITATION: Small, single-site study; baseline differences in weight by group.

CONCLUSION: In the setting of isocaloric eating, TRE did not decrease weight or improve glucose homeostasis relative to a UEP, suggesting that any effects of TRE on weight in prior studies may be due to reductions in caloric intake.

PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: American Heart Association.

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