Nutrition support in the obese, diabetic patient: The role of hypocaloric feeding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose of review It has previously been thought that meeting estimated caloric needs with nutrition support improves outcomes in critically ill, obese patients with diabetes. Recent data suggests that intentionally failing to match caloric expenditure may actually result in better outcomes than eucaloric feeding. This review will evaluate recent studies exploring the relationship between caloric intake and outcomes in obese patients with underlying insulin resistance or diabetes. Recent findings Obese patients who receive 33-70% of their estimated caloric needs during critical illness have better clinical outcomes than patients fed eucalorically. The reasons for this are not clear, however, they do not appear to be due to improved glycemic control. It is possible that caloric restriction acts by improving insulin sensitivity in protein and glucose metabolism, reducing the risk of infection without causing severe hypoglycemia. Patients who are unable to achieve goal-feeding rates have poorer clinical outcomes but this is most likely due to severity of illness rather than caloric intake itself. Summary It is better to err on the side of hypocaloric nutrition support in obese, diabetic patients rather than overfeeding. Hypocaloric feeding may result in improved outcomes, however, the optimal duration of hypocaloric nutrition support is not known.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-154
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent opinion in gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Critical illness
  • Diabetes
  • Glycemic control
  • Hypocaloric feeding
  • Nutrition support
  • Obesity
  • Permissive underfeeding


Dive into the research topics of 'Nutrition support in the obese, diabetic patient: The role of hypocaloric feeding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this