Table 2

Overview of intervention studies which have investigated the effect of hypocaloric feeding on liver fat content

RefDesignSubjectsInterventionEnergyDurationChange in body massChange in liver fat
148 SG10 M+F NAFLD
45.5 yearsa
(34.5–51.5 years)b
31.1 kg/m2a
(25.6–40.6 kg/m2)b
↓ 50% FruAd libitum energy intake with repeat dietary consultations (every 2 weeks)6 months↓ 3%*↓ 36%±26%*
150 R/P22 M+F
43.6±2.5 years
36.5±0.8 kg/m2
High-CHO (>180 g/day) versus low-CHO (<60 g/day)↓1000 kcal/day~6 weeks Followed by 4 week weight maintenance↓ 7.5%±0.4%c*
NSD between groups
Low-CHO: ↓38.0%±4.5%*
High-CHO: ↓44.5%±13.5%*
NSD between groups
149 P18 M+F NAFLD
45±12 yearsd
35±7 kg/m2d
Low-CHO (<20 g/day) diet versus low kcal (1200–1500 kcal/day)Low-CHO: 1553±517
kcal/day
Low kcal: 1325±180 kcal/day
2 weeksLow-CHO: ↓ 4.6±1.5 kg*
Low-kcal: ↓ 4.0±1.5 kg*
NSD between groups
Low-CHO: ↓ 55%±14%*
Low-kcal: ↓ 28%±23%*#
143 R/P102 M+F
30–60 yearse
25–45 kg/m2e
Low-CHO (<90 g/day) versus low-fat (<20% TE)↓ 30% TE6 monthsLow-CHO: ↓ 7.6±0.6 kg*
Low-fat: ↓ 6.5±0.7 kg*
NSD between groups
Low-CHO: ↓ 47%*
Low-fat: ↓ 42%*
NSD between groups
144 R/P70 F
50-70 yearse
25–40 kg/m2e
Paleo diet (40% TE fat) versus low-fat diet (25%–30% TE fat)Ad libitum energy intake, repeat dietary consultations6 months
2 years
6 months:
Paleo: ↓ 9 kgf*
Low-fat: ↓ 4 kgf*#
2 years:
Paleo: ↓ 8 kgf*
Low-fat:↓ 5 kgf*
NSD between gps at 2 years
6 months:
Paleo: ↓ 64%*
Low-fat: ↓43%*#
2 years:
Paleo: ↓50%*
Low-fat: ↓49%*
NSD between gps at 2 years
146 SG18 M+F
50 yearsa (34–57 years)g
44 kg/m2a(40–51 kg/m2)g
VLCD450-800 kcal/day6 weeks↓ 15.1%a (9.6–21.1%)g*↓ 43%*
147 SG30 M+F T2DM
25–80 yearse
27–45 kg/m2e
VLCD
Participants separated based on FPG at follow-up
Responders: <7 mmol/L
Non-responders: >7 mmol/L
624–700 kcal/day8 weeks
Followed by 6 months weight maintenance
↓ 14%f*Responders: ↓ 83%*
Non-responders: ↓ 73%*
NSD between groups
129 SG16 M+F
54 yearsa (40–59 years)g
30.6±1.2 kg/m2
Dietary consultation (repeated every 3 weeks)Ad libitum energy6 months↓ 4%*↓ 25%*
145 P27 F (previous history of gestational diabetes)
20–50 yearse
28–35 kg/m2e
Targeted weight loss (balanced diet). Participants separated based on baseline liver fat;
High: >5%
Low: <5%
↓ 600–800 kcal/day3–6 months (dependent on time to ↓ BM by 8%)High: ↓ 7.4%±0.2%*
Low: ↓ 7.7%±0.3%*
NSD between groups.
High: ↓ 49%*
Low: ↓ 39%*#
142 R/P37 M+F
35–70 yearse
28–35 kg/m2e
Hypocaloric+placebo
 versus hypocaloric+rimonabant (20 mg)
↓ 600–800kcal/day11 monthsPlacebo: ↓ 1.7±1.0 kg
Rimonabant:↓ 8.5±1.4 kg*
Placebo: ↓ 28%
Rimonabant: ↓ 69%*#
  • Subject data presented as mean±SEM unless otherwise stated.

  • a Median.

  • b Range.

  • c Pooled data.

  • d SD.

  • e Inclusion criteria or estimated range within which all participants are included.

  • f Estimated from table/graph.

  • g IQR.

  • *Significant effect of intervention (p< 0.05) according to the manuscript.

  • # Significant difference between groups (p< 0.05) according to the manuscript.

  • BM, body mass; CHO, carbohydrate; FPG, fasting plasma glucose; F, Female; T2DM, type 2 diabetes mellitus; Fru, fructose; M, male; NSD, no significant difference; P, parallel groups; R, randomised; Ref, reference; SG, single group; total energy; VLCD, very low calorie diet.