HEALTH and WELLNESS
Obesity is a major health problem in the developed and developing world. Many “functional” foods and ingredients are advocated for their effects on body composition but few have consistent scientific support for their efficacy. However, an increasing amount of mechanistic and clinical evidence is building for green tea (GT). This experiment was therefore undertaken to study the effects of a high-catechin GT on body composition in a moderately overweight Chinese population. In a randomized placebo-controlled trial, 182 moderately overweight Chinese subjects, consumed either two servings of a control drink (C; 30 mg catechins, 10 mg caffeine/day), one serving of the control drink and one serving of an extra high-catechin GT1 (458 mg catechins, 104 mg caffeine/day), two servings of a high-catechin GT2 (468 mg catechins, 126 mg caffeine/day) or two servings of the extra high-catechin GT3 (886 mg catechins, 198 mg caffeine/day) for 90 days. Data were collected at 0, 30, 60, and 90 days. We observed a decrease in estimated intra-abdominal fat (IAF) area of 5.6 cm(2) in the GT3 group. In addition, we found decreases of 1.9 cm in waist circumference and 1.2 kg body weight in the GT3 group vs. C (P < 0.05). We also observed reductions in total body fat (GT2, 0.7 kg, P < 0.05) and body fat % (GT1, 0.6%, P < 0.05). We conclude that consumption of two servings of an extra high-catechin GT leads to improvements in body composition and reduces abdominal fatness in moderately overweight Chinese subjects.