Impact of computer-mediated, obesity-related nutrition education interventions for adolescents: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate recent research regarding the use of computer-based nutrition education interventions targeting adolescent overweight and obesity. Methods Online databases were systematically searched using key words, and bibliographies of related articles were manually searched. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied and included studies evaluated for their ability to achieve their objectives and for quality using the Nutrition Evidence Library appraisal guidelines for research design and implementation. Results Of the 15 studies included, 10 were randomized controlled trials. Two studies targeted weight loss, 2 targeted weight maintenance, and 11 targeted dietary improvement with or without physical activity. At least half of in-school (60%) and nonschool interventions (80%) exhibited significantly positive effects on nutrition- or obesity-related variables. Small changes in diet, physical activity, knowledge, and self-efficacy were shown; however, few results were sustained long term. Conclusions Recommendations included application of health behavior theory and computer tailoring for feedback messages. Future research should include thorough description of intervention content (messages, theory, multimedia, etc.), application of rigorous methodology, as well as consideration of covariates such as parental involvement and gender. With further research and evidentiary support, this approach to obesity-related nutrition education has the potential to be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-645
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Computer based
  • Computer mediated
  • Internet
  • Intervention studies
  • Nutrition education
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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