August/September 2016 (vol. 13/2)

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Research Plus

Personalised online interventions promote weight loss

Online interventions aimed at encouraging weight loss among overweight and obese adults can be successful if they provide personalised feedback – but only in the short term – according to a meta-analysis of 12 studies. The interventions lasted between three months and two years and all included personalised feedback on targeted weight-loss progress or behaviour change (eg diet and exercise). Study group participants receiving personalised feedback achieved 2.1 kg greater weight loss on average compared with controls (p <0.00001) and were twice as likely to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss of 5% body weight or more. However, significant reductions in body weight were achieved in the intervention groups compared with controls in short-duration studies, with data collected at three and six months, but not in interventions lasting 12 months or more. Long-term maintenance of weight loss is essential to achieve health benefits. Methodological quality was generally low.


  1. Obesity Reviews 2016; 17(6): 541–551. doi: 10.1111/obr.12396.


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2016 (vol. 13/2) pp40