+AA
Fr
McMasterLogo_New-2017-300x165
Back
Evidence Summary

What is an Evidence Summary?

Key messages from scientific research that's ready to be acted on

Got It, Hide this
  • Rating:

Mobile technology may support weight loss in overweight or obese adults in the short term; but long term impact is unknown.

Bacigalupo R, Cudd P, Littlewood C, et al.  Interventions employing mobile technology for overweight and obesity: An early systematic review of randomized controlled trials Obesity Reviews. 2012; 14: 279-291

Review question

Does mobile technology effectively support weight loss in overweight or obese adults?

Background

Those who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. As mobile technologies become more accessible they may be used to provide interventions to promote weight loss. 

How the review was done

This review included 7 studies with 584 overweight or obese adults. In all studies participants learned about diet and exercise to support weight loss, and carried a mobile device such as a pager or mobile phone with them all day. In some studies the mobile device was used to send motivational messages to participants, in other studies participants used the mobile device to record what they ate and how much they exercised. Some interventions included a financial component either as an incentive or disincentive (i.e. owed money if weight targets were not met). The interventions lasted between 9 weeks and 1 year.

What the researchers found

In the short term, those who received the intervention tended to lose more weight than those who did not and this finding is statistically significant. However, given total weight loss was measured rather than percentage of body weight, it is not possible to determine if the amount of weight lost by those receiving the intervention is sufficient to lower the risk of health problems caused by being overweight or obese. Long term impact is not known given only 1 of 7 studies reported weight loss at 1 year. In the one study that measured weight loss for up to 1 year, weight loss did not continue after six months, but 25% of participants maintained a clinically meaningful amount of weight loss at 1 year follow up.

 

Conclusion

There is evidence that mobile technology interventions may support weight loss in some, but not all overweight and obese adults in the short-term. More research is needed to determine the long term impact (over 1 year) on weight loss.




Related Web Resources

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease and Exercise

    Health Link B.C.
    Being physically active can help in the management and prevention of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Supervised, facility-based specialized exercise programs may potentially help relieve leg pain and improve walking ability in people with PAD. Unsupervised, structured home-based exercise programs are also an option. Consult with your health care provider prior to initiating any type of exercise program.
  • Patient education: Pelvic floor muscle exercises (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Pelvic floor muscles work to support the organs in the pelvis, such as the bladder and rectum. When these muscles are weakened—naturally through age, an injury, or some other contributing factor—it can result in urinary and fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor exercises (i.e. Kegel exercises) can help to enhance the strength of these muscles and improve symptoms.
  • After a stroke: Does fitness training improve health and mobility?

    Informed Health Online
    Fitness training after a stroke can improve physical fitness and mobility, but can require a lot of effort and motivation. Examples of fitness training include Nordic walking, treadmills, or exercise bikes.
DISCLAIMER These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Register for free access to all Professional content

Register
Want the latest in aging research? Sign up for our email alerts.
Subscribe

Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

© 2012 - 2020 McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L8 | +1 905-525-9140 | Terms Of Use