Reducing sugar use in coffee while maintaining enjoyment: A randomized controlled trial

Richie L. Lenne, Traci L Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Consuming coffee without (or with less) sugar may help people lower their daily calorie intake without restrictive dieting. We tested two theory-based interventions to help people do so. One involved gradually reducing sugar over time, and the other was based on mindfulness theory. These interventions were compared to a repeated exposure (to sugar-free coffee) group. Participants in all conditions had significant increases in consumption of sugar-free coffee that lasted 6 months. The mindfulness group had a larger increase than the others. Unexpectedly, the gradual reduction intervention led to a decrease in liking for sugar-free coffee and was the least effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-597
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Timothy Chapdelaine for designing and implementing the coffee training and tasting component of the mindfulness intervention. We also thank Lucy Zhou for managing the study and the research assistants in the Mann Lab for their dedicated efforts packing sugar. See our public project page ( for pre-registration, dataset, analysis script, intervention materials, and more. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was funded by a grant from the Engdahl Family Foundation through the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • brief interventions
  • dieting
  • eating
  • mindfulness
  • reducing sugar

PubMed: MeSH publication types

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


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