Background: For overweight individuals, lifestyle modifications are needed to facilitate weight loss. Nutrition counselling supports behaviour change for weight loss; however, resources are needed to facilitate compliance towards the counselling process. Meal plans or food supplementation may be appropriate resources which favourably influence dietary compliance and enhance weight loss outcomes. The aim of this review was to examine the impact of food supplementation on weight loss in dietary intervention trials.
Methods: The databases Scopus, PubMed and the Cochrane Library were searched for dietary intervention trials published between Jan 2004 – March 2015 using the following keywords and combinations: “trial” OR “intervention”, “food” OR “diet”, “weight loss” and “compliance” OR “adherence”. Studies were included if food was provided to at least one study arm, and if weight change and compliance were reported. The final included studies were categorised into two groups: trials involving a control group not supplemented with food (‘food versus no food’), and trials providing food to all participants (‘food versus food’).
Results: Seventeen articles from 16 studies were included. Weight loss was reported for all participants in ‘food versus food’ category. In ‘food versus no food’ category, the intervention groups appeared to lose more weight than controls. Three trials reported a significant difference in weight loss between groups.
Conclusion: In dietary intervention trials, food supplementation alone does not lead to greater weight loss but may act as an incentive to modulate diet and improve compliance.
Funding Source: N/A