The purpose of this study was to determine the effect timing of meals has on the rate of weight loss. Five hospitalized obese adults were placed on a 1200 Calorie reducing diet for approximately eight weeks.

For about a four-week period the 1200 Calories were divided into six meals per day of 200 Calories each. These same patients were given the 1200 Calories in three meals per day approximately another four-week period. With three meals per day, the calories were divided into 200 Calories for breakfast and lunch and 800 Calories for the evening meal. The former pattern represents ad libitum feedings or "nibbling,” while the latter is characteristic of the typical working American's dietary pattern of little or no breakfast, a light lunch, and a large evening meal.

Routine hospital fare for reducing regimens was used for these diets. The exchange system was followed to determine the portion size. A visual estimation of the amount of each serving of food left on the tray was made by the licensed vocational nurse in charge of the patient and recorded following each meal. This provided an accurate count of the actual caloric intake daily.

Laboratory analyses of blood samples included determinations of serum cholesterol, two-hour post prandial blood sugar, blood urea nitrogen, hematocrit, and hemoglobin. A t test showed no significant difference in the regression slope of the serum cholesterol on the two diets. The blood urea nitrogen, hematocrit and hemoglobin remained essentially constant throughout the experimental period. The two-hour post prandial blood sugar levels remained the same with the exception of the diabetic patient whose diabetes was brought into control on the calculated diet and an oral antidiabetic agent.

A t test performed on the regression slope of the weight loss showed no statistical difference between the three meal per day pattern and the six meal per day pattern. The loss in total body weight can be attributed to caloric restriction. The timing of the meals did not effect the rate of weight loss.




Graduate School

First Advisor

Raymond Crawford

Second Advisor

Mary Byers

Third Advisor

Martha Miller

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth Wenz

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Diet, Reducing.



Page Count

v; 42

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

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Nutrition Commons