There has been a new research findings showing that meal replacements or prepackaged entrees can help teenagers lose weight during the early part of dieting. However, some experts said that these meal replacements are actually not better than a low calorie meal. This is according to Dr. Robert L. Berkowitz and some of his colleagues from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

According to Berkowitz, replacing meals with shakes and other prepackaged entrees can be effective for adults who want to trim down on their weights. He said that the meal replacements may work for some people because the people on a diet are likely to underestimate the calorie intake when they drink meal replacements. Because of this, the researchers also wanted to find out whether the situation is also the same with teenagers.

The team led by Berkowitz observed 113 obese teens together with their families. The observation was made randomly. These 113 teens were to follow one of the 3 regimens: This includes a standard of 1,300 to 1,500 calorie intake a day for the entire year. Another regimen is composed of 4 months of meal replacements consisted with 3 SlimFast shakes, a prepackaged entrée and five servings of fruits and vegetables. This specific regimen was followed by an 8-month low calorie diet. Lastly, some were given a diet of meal replacements for the whole year.

At a time span of four months, teens under the meal replacement groups had a reduced body mass index or BMI of about 6.3 percent on the average. This is in contrast to the 3.8 percent of teens who reduced their weight in the low-calorie diet group. However, at the second phase of the study, all the teens in the three groups gained weight.

In one year, the average BMI that has been reduced in the low-calorie diet group was 2.8 percent, 3.9 percent in the meal replacement plus low-calorie group and 3.4 percent for the meal replacement-only group. At the end of the year, there the weight loss different was insignificant.At the course of the study, one third of the participants dropped out. Those who chose to stick with the study waned as time passed by. After 12 months, the teens included in the meal replacement group using SlimFast only joined 1.6 days in a week as compared to the 5.6 days a week in two months