Impact of self-help weight loss resources with or without online support on the dietary intake of overweight and obese men: the SHED-IT randomised controlled trial

Obes Res Clin Pract. Sep-Oct 2014;8(5):e476-87. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2013.09.004. Epub 2013 Oct 28.


Background: Obese men are more likely to have poor dietary patterns compared to women, increasing diet-related chronic disease risk. The impact of a male-only weight loss intervention on dietary intakes is under-evaluated. The aim was to determine whether overweight/obese men randomised to self-help paper-based resources with or without online support, achieved greater improvements in diet compared with Wait-list controls at 3 and 6 months following a gender tailored weight-loss intervention.

Methods: Dietary intake was assessed using a 120-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), in a secondary analysis of a three-arm weight loss RCT grounded in Social Cognitive Theory; (1) RESOURCES: gender-tailored weight loss resources (DVD, handbooks, pedometer, tape measure); (2) Online: resources plus website and efeedback, (3) Wait-list control.

Results: Energy, total fat, saturated fat, and carbohydrate intakes decreased in the online group, which differed significantly from controls at 3- and 6-month follow-up (P<0.05). There was a significant reduction in energy, fat and carbohydrate intakes in the Resource group at 3 and 6 months, but no difference from controls (P>0.05). In the online group there was an increase in %energy from core foods and decrease in %energy from energy-dense nutrient-poor foods (P<0.05) that was significantly different compared to controls at 3 and 6 months (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Results suggest that men randomised to the SHED-IT intervention arms were able to implement key dietary messages up to 6 months compared to controls. Future interventions should include targeted and gender-tailored messages as a strategy to improve men's dietary intake within weight loss interventions.

Keywords: Calorie restriction; Diet; Male; Randomised controlled trial; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Health Resources
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Men
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Self Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waiting Lists
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs*