Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Georgia Lauritzen


Georgia Lauritzen


Deloy Hendricks


James Gessaman


Noreen Schvaneveldt


Obesity is a disease of major proportion in the United States. The Surgeon General has identified obesity as a national health problem that affects approximately 34 million Americans.

The aim of this study was to investigate the very-low-calorie diet, Optifast 70. Measurements for resting energy expenditure (REE} and body composition via circumference measurements (CBF} and infrared photospectromerty (NIR} with a Futrex 5000 were collected at weeks 1, 7, 13, 19, and 25. Biochemical data, including serum chemistry panel (SMA-12} and complete blood count (CBC}, were collected on weeks 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, and 25. Lipid profiles were drawn on weeks 1 and 25.

Participants ranged in age from 27 to 64. Subjects' mean body mass loss was -20.4 kg ± 6.6 kg with a maximum body mass loss of -33.23 kg and minimum body mass loss of -9.770 kg. Mean loss in body fat mass using infrared photospectrometry as a measurement was -13.4 kg; mean loss of lean body mass was -4.2 kg. A significant change was noted in resting energy expenditure over the course of the diet, and a positive correlation was identified between loss of body mass and resting energy expenditure. No significant correlation was identified between the loss of lean body mass or body fat mass and its relationship to resting energy expenditure. Both circumference and infrared body fat measurements showed a positive correlation as the loss in body mass increased, making their reliability better as subjects approached desirable weight. In examining biochemical data, only cholesterol showed a significant change over the course of the diet; all other parameters remained within normal limits. Variations in patients' lipid profiles were identified, but no significant changes were noted.