A Pilot Internet-Based Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention with or without Commercially Available Portion-Controlled Foods


  • Funding agencies: This study was funded by a grant from the Obesity Society and Nutrisystem, Inc.

Correspondence: Kelly H. Webber (kelly.webber@uky.edu)


Objective: To evaluate the short-term impact of portion-controlled food provision in combination with an Internet behavioral weight loss program on weight, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose levels.

Design and Methods: Fifty participants, mean age 46 ± 10.7 years and mean body mass index 35.1 ± 3.8 kg/m2, were randomized to one of two study groups, an Internet behavioral weight loss program (Internet-alone; n = 25) or an Internet behavioral weight loss program plus a commercially available portion-controlled diet (Internet + PCD; n = 25) for 12 weeks.

Results: An intent-to-treat analysis found that the mean weight change in the Internet + PCD group was −5.7 ± 5.6 kg and in the Internet-alone group (n = 25) was −4.1 ± 4.0 kg (P = 0.26). Participants in the Internet + PCD group achieved significantly greater improvements in blood glucose (−2.6 ± 5.7 vs. 1.4 ± 11.0 mg/dl; P = 0.05) and LDL cholesterol (−8.2 ± 18.0 vs. −0.6 ± 21.0 mg/dl; P = 0.04), compared with Internet-alone group.

Conclusions: These data suggest that there may be short-term clinical benefit in using a PCD in conjunction with a behavioral Internet-based weight loss program to enhance weight loss and improve health indicators.