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Optifast® meal replacement

Nestlé Health Science publishes data showing weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction with Optifast® meal replacement

For the 4 in 10 U.S. adults living with obesity, and therefore at increased risk of heart disease1, Optifast is a non-invasive option to potentially lose weight and preserve heart health

Nestlé Health Science today announced the publication of positive clinical trial results in the journal Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism showing that the Optifast® meal replacement program led to significantly greater reductions in weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and projected cardiovascular (CV) disease risk than a low-calorie food-based diet plan.2

The manuscript is based on secondary and exploratory analyses of the year-long OPTIWIN study, a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial involving 273 U.S. adults with obesity, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) ≥30. Study participants who followed a partial or total Optifast meal replacement program experienced double-digit weight loss, down an average of 12.4% of their total body weight at week 26 and maintaining at 10.5% at week 52, which were the study’s primary endpoints. By comparison, participants who followed a low-calorie food-based dietary plan experienced significantly less weight loss, down 6.0% at week 26 and 5.5% at week 52.

The new analyses showed the Optifast program also led to significantly greater improvements in LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride levels at both 26 weeks and 52 weeks, compared to the food-based diet group. Additionally, the Optifast group had greater reductions in blood pressure, without an accompanying increase in heart rate, and a greater proportion of the Optifast group achieved blood pressures at or below the threshold for hypertension,3 though these effects were no longer significant at week 52. At the end of the year-long study period, the Optifast group had a significantly reduced 10-year risk for atherosclerotic CV disease, which was unchanged for the food-based diet group. The positive CV effects of Optifast were most pronounced among those at highest risk of CV disease: people 60 years of age and older and people who had high systolic blood pressure at the start of the study.4

“These clinical results show that Optifast meal replacement products can not only deliver double-digit weight loss, but also reduce CV risk burden in people with overweight or obesity. Given the increased CV risk associated with obesity, and up until now the lack of insights into how quality meal replacement programs can modulate this, these are important results,” said Hans-Juergen Woerle, MD, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer of Nestlé Health Science.

Both groups in the OPTIWIN study participated in individual and group behavioral counselling sessions and received prescriptions for physical activity, with a graduated target of 150-180 minutes/week of moderate-to-vigorous exercise. Both groups also recorded their daily food and exercise.

Based on food diary data, people in the Optifast group tended to get a greater proportion of their daily calories from protein, which is important for preserving lean muscle mass during weight loss.5 There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of reported physical activity.


About Optifast

The Optifast program is a non-surgical weight-management option designed for people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. The program, which is available at weight loss clinics across the U.S., is a medically supervised intervention that closely monitors and assesses progress towards better health and emotional well-being. The program utilizes a meal replacement plan that transitions to self-prepared ‘everyday’ meals, in conjunction with comprehensive patient education and support to help people lose weight, which can in turn reduce weight-related health risks. Clinical supervision is a key component of the program. Patients in the Optifast program met regularly with their medical provider for monitoring and counselling.

The Optifast program was launched in 1976 to fill the growing need to address obesity in a safe and effective way, with medical monitoring as a key component. As diseases related to obesity became more prevalent, the Optifast program was introduced as a sensible option for lifestyle transformation. The Optifast program is offered by Nestlé Health Science and is available in key markets worldwide. For more information, to see patient stories or to find a weight loss clinic, visit

About Nestlé Health Science (NHSc)

Nestlé Health Science, a leader in the science of nutrition, is a globally managed business unit of Nestlé. We are committed to redefining the management of health, offering an extensive portfolio of science-based consumer health, medical nutrition, pharmaceutical therapies, and vitamin and supplement brands.Our extensive research network provides the foundation for products that empower healthier lives through nutrition. Headquartered in Switzerland, we have more than 12,000 employees around the world, with products available in more than 140 countries.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adult obesity facts. Accessed on December 8, 2023. Available at:
  2. Ard, JD, Neeland, IJ, Rothberg, AE, et al. The OPTIFAST total and partial meal replacement programme reduces cardiometabolic risk in adults with obesity: Secondary and exploratory analysis of the OPTIWIN study. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2023; 1-11. doi:10.1111/dom.15392
  3. American Heart Association. Understanding blood pressure readings. Accessed on December 8, 2023. Available at:
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Know your risk for heart disease. Accessed on December 11, 2023. Available at:
  5. Josse AR, et al. Increased consumption of dairy foods and protein during diet- and exercise-induced weight loss promotes fat mass loss and lean mass gain in overweight and obese premenopausal women. J Nutr 2011; 141: 1626-34.