Effectiveness of social media-based interventions on weight-related behaviors and body weight status: Review and meta-analysis

Ruopeng An, Mengmeng Ji, Sheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Objectives: We reviewed scientific literature regarding the effectiveness of social media-based interventions about weight-related behaviors and body weight status. Methods: A keyword search were performed in May 2017 in the Clinical-Trials.gov, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Web of Science databases. We conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the pooled effect size of social media-based interventions on weight-related outcome measures. Results: We identified 22 interventions from the keyword and reference search, including 12 randomized controlled trials, 6 pre-post studies and 3 cohort studies conducted in 9 countries during 2010-2016. The majority (N = 17) used Facebook, followed by Twitter (N = 4) and Instagram (N = 1). Intervention durations averaged 17.8 weeks with a mean sample size of 69. The meta- analysis showed that social media-based interventions were associated with a statistically significant, but clinically modest reduction of body weight by 1.01 kg, body mass index by 0.92 kg/m2, and waist circumstance by 2.65 cm, and an increase of daily number of steps taken by 1530. In the meta-regression there was no dose-response effect with respect to intervention duration. Conclusions: The boom of social media provides an unprecedented opportunity to implement health promotion programs. Future interventions should make efforts to improve intervention scalability and effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-682
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

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Social Media
body weight
social media
Meta-Analysis
Body Weight
Weights and Measures
Literature
Health Promotion
PubMed
Sample Size
Libraries
Body Mass Index
Cohort Studies
Randomized Controlled Trials
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Clinical Trials
Databases
twitter
technical literature
facebook

Keywords

  • Body weight
  • Obesity meta-analysis
  • Obesity systematic review
  • Social media health promotion
  • Weight-related behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Effectiveness of social media-based interventions on weight-related behaviors and body weight status : Review and meta-analysis. / An, Ruopeng; Ji, Mengmeng; Zhang, Sheng.

In: American journal of health behavior, Vol. 41, No. 6, 11.2017, p. 670-682.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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