British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Behaviour, Appetite and Obesity

Findings from an online behavioural weight management programme provided with or without a fortified diet beverage

C. Keith Haddocka1, Walker S. C. Postona1 c1, Caitlin LaGrottea2, Alicia A. Klotza2, Tracy L. Olivera2, Stephanie S. Vander Veura2, Gary D. Fostera2, Susan A. Jebba3, Carmel Moorea3, Susan A. Robertsa4, Rebecca S. Reevesa5, Mary Pat Boltona5 and John P. Foreyta5

a1 Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 1920 West 143rd Street, Suite 120, Leawood, KS 66224, USA

a2 Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

a3 MRC Human Nutrition Research, Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Cambridge, UK

a4 Global Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, GA, USA

a5 Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA


The present multi-centre randomised weight-loss trial evaluated the efficacy of a low-intensity 12-week online behavioural modification programme, with or without a fortified diet beverage using a 2 × 2 factorial design. A total of 572 participants were randomised to: (1) an online basic lifestyle information (OBLI) intervention, consisting of one online informational class about tips for weight management; (2) an online behavioural weight management (OBWM) intervention, entailing 12 weekly online classes focused on weight-loss behaviour modification; (3) an OBLI intervention plus a fortified diet cola beverage (BEV) containing green tea extract (total catechin 167 mg), soluble fibre dextrin (10 g) and caffeine (100 mg) (OBLI+BEV); (4) OBWM+BEV. Assessments included height, weight, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived body composition, and waist circumference (WC). Attrition was 15·7 %. Intention-to-treat (ITT) models demonstrated a main effect for type of Internet programme, with those assigned to the OBWM condition losing significantly more weight (F= 7·174; P= 0·008) and fat mass (F= 4·491; P= 0·035) than those assigned to the OBLI condition. However, there was no significant main effect for the OBWM condition on body fat percentage (F= 2·906; P= 0·089) or WC (F= 3·351; P= 0·068), and no significant main effect for beverage use or significant interactions between factors in ITT models. A 12-week, low-intensity behaviourally based online programme produced a greater weight loss than a basic information website. The addition of a fortified diet beverage had no additional impact.

(Received February 05 2013)

(Revised June 24 2013)

(Accepted June 24 2013)

(Online publication August 07 2013)

Key Words:

  • Weight loss;
  • Obesity;
  • Internet;
  • Online behavioural modification programmes


c1 Corresponding authors:W. S. C. Poston, emails;


  Abbreviations: BEV, fortified diet beverage; ITT, intention to treat; OBLI, online basic lifestyle information; OBWM, online behavioural weight management