Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality


A study on an innovative diet and exercise programme for elderly patients suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes


The first recommendation that overweight diabetic patients are given is to lose weight. However, this is often accompanied by unwanted loss of muscle mass. The AUAS has teamed up with four other Dutch parties (Nutricia Research, the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO), Tromp Medical and Vialente Diëtheek) to study an innovative diet and exercise programme aimed at limiting muscle mass loss and keeping blood sugar levels under control.


The purpose of the study is to gain insight into the effects of an innovative high-protein diet combined with physical training on the maintenance of muscle mass, the loss of fat mass and the metabolic health of elderly patients suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes.


A clinical study was recently carried out by the Weight Management professorship in which around 120 elderly patients suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes followed a three-month programme that consisted of reduced calorie intake and supervised group exercise sessions three times per week. This was a double-blind, randomised and controlled study. Some of the participants were given an innovative protein supplement, and others received a control product.

At the Amsterdam Nutritional Assessment Center, DXA scans were used to determine the participants’ body compositions both before and after the intervention. The physical performance of the participants was measured as well. Blood analyses were carried out at VU University Medical Center to gain insight into the changes in the participants’ metabolic health.

The study is currently in the analysis phase.

The AUAS research team consists of Professor Peter Weijs (principal researcher), project leader and lecturer-researcher Robert Memelink, nutrition lab coordinator Mariëtte van Rijmenam and dietician Anita Tump from dietetics practice Vialente-Diëtheek.

Students from the Nutrition and Dietetics degree programme assisted in conducting the study as part of their work placement or graduation project.

The study is being funded by the consortium partners and a subsidy from the Agri & Food Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy).

Project leader

Published by  Urban Vitality 9 May 2023

Project Info

Start date 01 Nov 2013
End date 31 Mar 2021


Peter Weijs
Robert Memelink