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Publication - Dr Jelena Savovic

    Interventions for preventing obesity in adolescents: A systematic review


    Brown, T, Moore, T, Metcalf, S, Jago, R, Hooper, L, Gao, Y, Savović, J & Summerbell, C, 2018, ‘Interventions for preventing obesity in adolescents: A systematic review’. Obesity Reviews.


    The evidence base on the efficacy of interventions for preventing obesity in adolescents needs updating.
    Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of obesity prevention interventions in adolescents aged 13-18, with at least 12-weeks follow-up data.
    Only five of 37 included studies had a mean baseline age over 16 years. The certainty of the evidence was very low for adiposity outcomes (risk of bias, inconsistency and imprecision). Post-intervention BMI-z score mean difference: 0.01 units, 95% confidence interval; -0.04 to 0.06,17,635 participants, 11 studies, I2 91%. No dietary interventions reported BMI-z score. Longer-term BMI-z score mean difference: -0.06 units (95% confidence interval: -0.15 to 0.04, 2689 participants, 5 studies, I2 93%). Meta-analysis suggests that BMI-z score increased by 4% immediately post-intervention and reduced by 9% in the longer-term compared to the assumed risk.
    It is uncertain whether all types of interventions identified in this review prevent obesity in adolescents post-intervention or in the longer-term. There is an urgent need for research evaluating obesity prevention interventions in adolescents as they transition to adulthood. Future interventions should consider the complex system of obesity and include upstream interventions which may be more effective and sustainable.

    Full details in the University publications repository