Topic: The case for and against a high protein meal replacement product to help manage weight in people who are overweight or obese

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You have been employed as a nutrition consultant by a supplement company that is interested in developing a new formulated high protein meal replacement drink product to adults, to target weight loss in those who are overweight or obese. The board has asked you to evaluate and present evidence on efficacy and safety of meal replacement products for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. As the nutrition consultant, you are required to present a 2000 word written report and 1 min video summary outlining your evaluation of the evidence to the company. In your report you should (in part) consider whether such a supplement has benefits over modifications to diet alone i.e. by adopting a low- or reduced- energy diet.


The purpose of this assignment is to:

  • become familiar with a topical and relevant nutritional issue in Australia;
  • learn to search for, and critique, peer-reviewed scientific literature;
  • learn to summarize current knowledge and formulate an evidence based opinion;
  • develop your nutrition communication skills;
  • The video component of your assignment will specifically assist in developing your verbal communication skills as well as digital literacy skills.

Due date

Due date: Thursday 11 April 8.00 pm (AEST)

Assessment weighting: Written report worth 40% of your final unit grade; Video summary 5% of your unit grade

Format requirements

Word count: Written report (2000 words) and 1 minute video summary. There is NO '10% over’ allowance rule within the word count. Please note that if your assignment is significantly over 2000 words, a penalty will be applied in marking.

Your written report can be submitted in either a Word or PDF file format via the dropbox on CloudDeakin. It must comply with the CloudDeakin permitted file types e.g. Microsoft Word .docx or Portable Document Format .pdf. These files cannot exceed 250 Megabytes (MB). Your written report can be presented in any format you choose that would be appropriate for a professional report. Please see the rubric for marking criteria.

Your video summary needs to be in a MP4 format. Each file needs to go into its own assignment dropbox. Assignment content

The following points need to be covered at some stage in your report:

  1. Background
    1. Importance of dietary protein and its biological functions
    2. Dietary sources and potential issues of inadequate/deficient protein intakes
    3. Provide a brief background on obesity and the scope of the problem
    4. Provide a brief overview of meal replacements (including high protein meal replacements) and their use for weight loss/weight Briefly, what mechanisms might underlie beneficial effects on weight loss?
  2. Evidence and critique

Outline the weight of scientific evidence for efficacy and safety of meal replacements (including high protein meal replacements) for weight loss and/or weight maintenance in adults. For this part, you need to take into account studies that show use of meal replacements to be efficacious for weight loss in the target population and also consider studies that do not show favourable effects of meal replacements on weight loss. You may compare meal replacements to low- or reduced-energy diets. If possible, aim to have at least 4 studies for each side of the argument. You should consider the dose and duration of supplementation in making your argument. You should also consider strengths and limitations of the individual studies, as well as evidence collectively, to help inform your subsequent recommendation.

  1. Evidence-based recommendation

Include a brief evidence-based summary to the company on efficacy and safety of high protein meal replacements for enhancing weight loss/weight maintenance in adults as supported by the evidence presented in your report. As a nutrition professional, you should be able to give a clear and direct recommendation as to whether evidence supports product development.

  1. Video Component

Your employer has asked you to summarise the main findings and recommendations from your report in a brief presentation to the company board. The board meets interstate, so you have been asked to record a one minute video summarising your recommendations.

Referencing requirements

  • Vancouver style

Almost all the references for your report should be coming from peer-reviewed scientific studies.


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