Review: little evidence supports the efficacy of major commercial and organised self help weight loss programmes
Q What is the efficacy of major commercial or organised self help weight loss programmes that provide structured in-person or online counselling?
Medline (1966 to October 1, 2003), bibliographies of relevant studies, and the publication lists of 2 companies.
Study selection and assessment:
randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or prospective case series of major commercial or organised self help weight loss programmes in the US that provided regular in-person or online counselling for ⩾12 weeks, included only adults, reported number of trial participants, assessed ⩾10 participants, evaluated the programme under the same conditions in which it was offered to the public, and had ⩾1 year of follow up after treatment. Exclusion criteria were studies of self help weight loss approaches based on books, meal replacement plans, or similar products. Assessment of the quality of individual studies was based on study design and attrition.