Dietary Composition and Weight Loss: Can We Individualize Dietary Prescriptions According to Insulin Sensitivity or Secretion Status?


Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Tufts-New England Medical Center, 750 Washington Street #268, Boston, MA 02111; Phone: 617–636–5694; Fax: 617–636–4719; E-mail:


There is considerable uncertainty over whether any one dietary pattern broadly facilitates weight loss or maintenance of weight loss, and current dietary guidelines recommend a spectrum of dietary composition for the general population. However, emerging evidence suggests that specific dietary compositions may work better for identifiable groups of overweight/obese individuals based on their individual metabolic status. In particular, characteristics of insulin dynamics, such as insulin sensitivity or insulin secretion status, may interact with diets that vary in macronutrient composition to influence the weight loss achieved with a hypocaloric diet.