Both catechin polyphenols and caffeine have been shown to have beneficial effects on weight control in the adult population. However, the influence of tea or coffee supplementation on body weight in adolescents has never been tested. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of tea and coffee consumption on body weight and body fat in adolescents with obesity.
Randomized clinical trial comparing three weight-loss interventions composed of similar family-based counseling sessions on nutritional education with coffee (2 cups per day, total amount 160 mg caffeine), green tea (3 cups per day, total amount 252 mg catechin and 96 mg caffeine), or herbal tea (as placebo, 3 cups per day). Nutritional intake, BMI, and fat percentage, as measured by bioelectrical impedance, were compared between the groups at 3 and 6 months.
Forty-eight children were included in the final analysis: 18 in the coffee arm, 17 in the green tea arm, and 13 in the placebo arm. Nineteen (39.6%) children were males, with a median (interquartile range) age of 13 (11-14) years. There were no significant group differences in age, sex, and BMI (absolute number and percent of the 95th percentile) upon study entry. Comparison between the three interventions in total change in BMI from baseline revealed a significant advantage for coffee consumption compared with green tea and placebo (-9.2% change in BMI in the coffee group compared with -2.3% and 0.76% in the green tea and placebo group, respectively, p = 0.002).
Dietary recommendations combined with coffee intake and, to a lesser extent, tea catechins may be associated with reduced weight and adiposity among adolescents.