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Are very low-calorie diets safe?

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Very low-calorie diets are not OK for everyone.

If your BMI is greater than 30, very low-calorie diets are generally safe when used under proper medical supervision. For people who are overweight but not obese (BMI of 27-30), very low-calorie diets should be reserved for those with weight-related medical problems.

Very low-calorie-diets are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and are not appropriate for children or teens except in specialized treatment programs. They also may not be OK for people over age 50, depending on medications they take for pre-existing conditions.

SOURCE:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Very-Low-Calorie Diets."

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on November 26, 2018

SOURCE:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Very-Low-Calorie Diets."

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on November 26, 2018

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What are the side effects of very low-calorie diets?

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