Obesity management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Siew S. Lim, Peter M. Clifton, Manny Noakes, Robert J. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity and insulin resistance play an important role in initiating or maintaining ill health in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This implies that treatment that reduces body weight and insulin resistance would alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. Lifestyle modification has been found to be effective in restoring reproductive function in up to 80% of individuals who achieve at least 5% weight loss. However, long-term weight maintenance is a challenge. This article provides a review of reduced glycemic load diets, including low glycemic index, very low carbohydrate, high-protein and high monounsaturated fat diets, on metabolic and reproductive health in PCOS and non-PCOS populations. Dietary trials in non-PCOS women suggest that higher-protein, reduced glycemic load diets were probably more beneficial than the conventional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet but further studies are required to confirm this in PCOS women. Similarly, the optimal exercise regime for PCOS women remains to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalWomen's Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Diet
  • Glycemic index
  • High protein diet
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lifestyle
  • Low carbohydrate diet
  • Monounsaturated fat
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

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