How best to use partial meal replacement in managing overweight or obese patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes


  • Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report. Full financial disclosures and author notes may be found in the online version of this article



To compare patient compliance and benefits, over 12 months, of 1 versus 2 partial meal replacement (PMR) for the management of overweight/obese subjects with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes.

Design and Methods:

Thirty-six overweight patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes (BMI > 27 kg/m2 and HbA1c > 7.5% [58 mmol/mol]) were randomized to receive 1 or 2 PMR/day, while maintaining usual lifestyle. Subjects were seen monthly and adjustment of medications was made to prevent hypoglycemia. Compliance was assessed by counting unused sachets.


Patients on 2 PMR/day lost almost 4 kg compared with only 0.5 kg in the 1 PMR/day group. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Overall PMR was about 30% as effective as in our previous study on total meal replacement. Reductions in weight, waist, and HbA1c were better in the 2 PMR/day group while patient dropout and compliance were not worse over a 12-month period.


PMR provides a further management option for overweight/obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. The initial recommendation should be 2 PMR/day.