Expert's warning as best diet shakes revealed
Australian dieters have rated which weight loss shakes they prefer based on various factors including taste and effectiveness.
The Canstar Blue survey involved nearly 800 dieting Australians who gave a review of nine popular products.
Aldi's Slim & Trim came out on top for overall customer satisfaction, which took into account effectiveness, hunger satisfaction, taste, variety and value for money.
Rapid Loss, FatBlaster, celebrityslim and SlimRight received four stars while Optifast, Optislim, WeightWatchers and bodytrim received three stars for overall satisfaction.
The survey also showed that 72% of respondents lost weight using shakes, although many found it difficult to refrain from snacking.
Obesity researcher Dr Nick Fuller says people should be wary about the findings.
"They're subjective reviews based on what people report," he said.
"We're not actually getting the full story. They're not reporting on that weight regain they're getting every single time and as a result these products aren't effective," said Dr Fuller from the University of Sydney and author of Interval Weight Loss for Life.
Accredited Practising Dietitian Lisa Renn said the products that rated highly by consumers were quite high in sugar compared to traditional brand Optifast which received only three stars.
Dr Fuller agrees the results are skewed towards taste.
"These products that are coming out on top often because they taste better, it doesn't mean they're any better for us," he said. The survey revealed that Australians paid on average $61 a month on the products.
Dr Fuller says they're a waste of money for people wanting to achieve long-term weight loss.
"More and more people are turning to these products because 70% of the population is struggling with their weight," he said.
"If people are following meal shakes they just have to realise that it's not a sustainable lifelong solution. You have to change your lifestyle," he said.
The Australian Dietitians Association says the formulations which are largely protein based can help kick start a person's weight loss journey, but people need advice from their GP and accredited dietitian.
Spokesperson Lisa Renn says people who want to achieve long-term weight loss need to change their eating behaviours and relationship with food. She said shakes shouldn't be used in isolation.
She said people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes are particularly vulnerable to changes in their diet and need specific advice.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand is currently reviewing the regulations surrounding meal replacement products for weight loss.