Aim: The aim of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness of the phone- or computer-based intervention on weight loss and improvement in diet and physical activity levels in obese or overweight adults.

Methods: We searched RCTs indexed in PubMed, Embase and CENTRAL from inception through May 1, 2018. A meta-analysis was conducted of RCTs involving participants receiving mobile devices included modern and portable devices.

Results: Eighteen RCTs enrolling 2,567 adult participants from 4 countries (America, Australia, England and Germany) were included. The mean difference (MD) for the effect of using mobile phones or computers on reduction in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference were −1.25 kg (95% CI −1.71 to −0.79, p<0.05), −0.30kg/m2 (95% CI −0.58 to -0.01, p=0.04), and −1.13 cm (95% CI −2.11 to −0.14, p=0.03), respectively, and raising in physical activity weekly was 420.07 kcal (95% CI 67.54 to 772.61, p=0.02), while basing on mobile devices can not significantly reduce daily energy intake (MD −61.05, 95% CI −205.22 to 83.12, p=0.41). Subgroup analyses suggested that use of computers or phones was associated with significant changes in body weight of −1.67 kg and −0.85 kg compared with the control group, respectively. Another subgroup analysis found that the United States, Australia and European countries (England and Germany) lost 1.52 kg, 1,98 kg and 0.33 kg, respectively.

Conclusion: Compared to control group, this meta-analysis indicated that intervention group based on mobile devices had potential effect on a decrease in body weight, waist circumference and a smaller decrease in BMI, and a moderate increase in weekly exercise, while no significant differences in daily energy intake among obese or overweight adults. Subgroup analyses revealed that compared with phone-based intervention, basing on computer significantly reduced body weight, and the United States lost more weight than Australia and European countries.


Y. Pu: None. M. Guo: None. X.M. Ma: None. Q. Chen: None. F. Teng: None. T. Zhang: None. C. Liu: None. Y. Xu: None.


National Natural Science Foundation of China (81800741)

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