Technology Interventions to Curb Obesity: A Systematic Review of the Current Literature
Obesity is a public health crisis that has reached epidemic proportions. Although intensive behavioral interventions can produce clinically significant weight loss, their cost to implement, coupled with resource limitations, pose significant barriers to scalability. To overcome these challenges, researchers have made attempts to shift intervention content to the Internet and other mobile devices. This article systematically reviews the recent literature examining technology-supported interventions for weight loss and maintenance among overweight and obese adults. Thirteen studies were identified that satisfied our inclusion criteria (12 weight loss trials, 1 weight maintenance trial). Our findings suggest that technology interventions may be efficacious at producing weight loss. However, several studies are limited by methodologic shortcomings. There are insufficient data to evaluate their efficacy for weight maintenance. Further research is needed that employs state-of-the-art methodology, with careful attention being paid to adherence and fidelity to intervention protocols.
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