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Weight loss in a UK commercial all meal provision study: a randomised controlled trial

Mellor, D. D.; Whitham, C.; Goodwin, S.; Morris, M.; Reid, M.; Atkin, S. L.


D. D. Mellor

C. Whitham

S. Goodwin

M. Morris

M. Reid

S. L. Atkin



Effective approaches are needed to address the increasing prev- alence of overweight and obesity. The present study investigated whether all meal provision was a more effective and acceptable method for weight loss than a self-directed diet.


This randomised controlled trial recruited 112 men and women with a body mass index in the range 27–35 kg m–2, who had no comorbidi- ties, from the local area of Hull. Participants were randomised to receive either meal provision or follow a self-directed diet for a 12-week period that resulted in an estimated 2928 kJ day␣1 (700 kcal day␣1) deficit. A dietitian supervised both dietary interventions.


At 12 weeks [mean (SEM)], percentage weight loss in the meal provision group was 6.6% (0.5%) compared to 4.3% (0.6%) for those on the self-directed diet. In terms of clinically relevant weight loss, 61% of par- ticipants lost 5% or more of their body weight with meal provision com- pared to 22% on the self-directed diet (P < 0.001). Weight loss was associated with wellbeing in both groups. Attrition was less apparent with 7% of those participants receiving meal provision withdrawing from the study compared to 41% of those following the self-directed diet (P < 0.001).


Meal provision was a more effective and accepted method for weight loss over a 12-week period compared to a self-directed diet. This may in part represent the difference between being given the meal provision food free of charge. However, longer-term maintenance studies need to be undertaken to ascertain their effects on the maintenance of weight loss.


Mellor, D. D., Whitham, C., Goodwin, S., Morris, M., Reid, M., & Atkin, S. L. (2014). Weight loss in a UK commercial all meal provision study: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 27(4), 377-383.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Oct 23, 2013
Publication Date 2014-08
Deposit Date Oct 28, 2013
Publicly Available Date Oct 28, 2013
Journal Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Print ISSN 0952-3871
Electronic ISSN 0952-3871
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 4
Pages 377-383
Keywords Weight Loss Meal Replacement
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


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