A study of 100 obese Germans has indicated that liquid meal replacement does work in the fight against flab. Led by Dr Herwig Ditschuneit, researchers from the University of Ulm presented the findings of their four and a half year investigation at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna this week.

The researchers explained that for three months, 50 of the volunteers were placed on a strict diet of 1500 calories a day. The remainder were told to replace two daily meals with a diet shake (220 calories) and eat a "normal" dinner (900 calories). After the time period, the latter group had lost on average just over a stone in weight. The former category had shed just under two pounds however.

The findings were compounded over the next four years, when all 100 volunteers were placed on a diet of 1,500 calories and one diet shake a day, and weight stayed off those who had taken the liquid diet. The same people also saw lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Dr Ditschuneit is quoted on femail.co.uk as saying: "Two daily Slim-Fast meals were more effective for calorie restriction and weight loss than traditional meals using the same prescribed energy intake. It works for four years and is a very safe way of weight management."