Table 1

Characteristics of included studies examining the effectiveness of providing food in primary care for weight loss, in order of recency

First author, year, countryRelevant aimInterventionComparisonParticipantsStudy lengthDropoutsRelevant outcomes assessedFidelity
Bryce, 2017,23 USATo examine the impact of a farmers’ market with fresh fruits and vegetables at reducing weight.US$10–15/visit voucher for farmers’ market (up to four visits); maximum US$45 available across study periodBaseline74 participants with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, low income13 weeks12.2% (n=9)Weight (lbs), HbA1c (%), BP (mm Hg)41 participants attended all four market visits, 55 participants completed the health goals sheet
Narotzki, 2013,22 IsraelTo examine the effectiveness of daily green tea and vitamin E consumption at reducing weight.3×1.5 g green tea per day (to be brewed in 240 mL water)+400 IU vitamin E+exerciseCON group (vitamin E placebo+exercise)22 participants (n=11 intervention) aged 61–80 years12 weeks0%
Weight (kg), BP (mm Hg), HbA1c (%), blood lipid profile, waist circumference (cm)INT: green tea 93±8.3%, vitamin E supplement 95±5.6% and exercise 88±15.6%
CON: placebo supplement 94± 6.6% and exercise 92±9.3%
Ahrens, 2003,21 USATo examine the effectiveness of a community pharmacist-facilitated meal replacement programme at reducing weight.2 shakes per day for 12 weeks (INT) followed by 1 shake per day for 10 weeks (maintenance)Baseline
(CON arm did not meet review criteria due to dietitian input)
88 participants (n=45 intervention) aged 35–65 years, BMI 25–32 kg/m212 weeks+10 weeks maintenance phase38.6% (n=34)Weight (kg), BP (mm Hg), blood lipid profile, waist circumference (cm)Assessed but NR
Isaac, 1984,24 UKTo examine the effectiveness of a GP-facilitated meal replacement programme at reducing weight.3 shakes per day in place of all foods335 overweight or obese participants, 20–68 years30 days35.2% (n=118)Weight (kg), BP (mm Hg), acceptability (including side effects)88 participants did not fully comply with the intervention
  • .BMI, body mass index; BP, blood pressure; CON, control; GP, general practitioner; HbA1c, glycated haemoglobin; INT, intervention; NR, not reported.