Skip to main content

Table 3 Intervention and Control Characteristics, Outcomes, Follow-up Time Points and Key Findings for Studies Investigating the Effects of Internet-based Interventions

From: A systematic review to assess the effectiveness of technology-based interventions to address obesity in children

Authors & yearInterventionsIntervention intensity & durationAll outcomesFollow-up time pointsKey findingsWeight-related outcomesBetween group mean differenceP-value*
(95% CI)
Chen et al., 20111) Taored web-based intervention
2) General health, web-based information
Weekly online sessions for 8 weeks1) BMI
2) WHtR
3) BP
4) Dietary intake
5) PA; knowledge and self-efficacy
6) Nutrition
2, 6, and 8 monthsStatistically significantly more adolescents in the intervention group than the control group had:
- decreased their WHtR (−0.01, p = 0.02)
- decreased their DBP (− 1.12, p = 0.02)
- increased PA as measured by the actigraph (12.46, p = 0.01)
- increased FV intake (0.14, p = 0.001)
- increased knowledge of PA (0.16, p = 0.008) and nutrition (0 .18, p = 0.001)
- Statistically significant within group changes for the intervention group included WHtR, DBP, PA, FV intake and knowledge related to PA and nutrition (p < 0.05)
-There were no statistically significant changes for any outcomes in the control group
BMI (kg/m2)0.01 (−0.03, 0.04)0.84
WHtR−0.01 (− 0.01, − 0.001)0.02
% BF0.24 (− 0.49, 0.01)0.06
Ezendam et al., 20121) FATaintPHAT- computer-tailored intervention
2) No intervention control group
15 min allocated for each of 8 lessons timetabled into regular school curriculum over 10 weeks1) Self-reported behaviours (diet, PA, sedentary behaviour)
2) Pedometer counts
3) BMI
4) WC
5) Fitness
4 months and 2 yearsAmong the students at risk, those in the intervention group, compared to the control group:
- reported eating more FV at 4-month follow-up (0.3, p = 0.02)
- reported more steps at 2-year follow-up (12,389, p = 0.03)
- The intervention had no effects on anthropometric outcomes or on sedentary behaviour
BMI (kg/m2)0.25 (− 0.29, 0.79)0.37
WC (cm)1.3 (−0.12, 2.72)0.08
Jones et al., 20081) SB2-BED - an internet-based weight maintenance program
2) Wait-list control group
Over 16 weeks, a new topic was introduced weekly with previous content accessible at any time1) BMI
2) Binge eating behaviours
3) Dietary fat and sugar intake
4) Depression
5) Programme adherence
Post treatment and 9 months- Compared to the wait- list control group, the SB2-BED group had significantly reduced weight and shape concerns from baseline assessment to follow-up assessment at 9 months (−0.33, p = 0.03)
- No difference in all other outcomes between groups
- Statistically significant reductions in OBEs and SBEs from baseline assessment to posttreatment assessment (p < 0.01) and from baseline assessment to follow-up assessment (p < 0.05) were observed among SB2-BED participants
BMI (kg/m2)−1.4 (−3.87, 1.05)0.26
BMI z-score−0.16 (−0.41, 0.09)0.21
Nawi & Jamaludin., 20151) ObeseGO! – healthy lifestyle website
2) Health education pamphlets
12 weeks
Intensity not stated
1) BMI
2) WC
3) % BF
Post treatment and at 12 weeks post-intervention- There was no statistically significant reduction in BMI, WC or BF % between the intervention and control groups
- The mean BMI, WC and % BF in the obeseGO! group were statistically significantly lower after the intervention (p < 0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.001)
BMI (kg/m2)−0.49 (−2.41, 1.42)0.61
WC (cm)−1.57 (−6.18, 3.03)0.5
% BF0.09 (−2.14, 2.33)0.93
Williamson et al., 20061) Interactive behavioural internet programme
2) Passive internet health education programme
Programmes continuously available for use over 24 months1) BMI
2) BMI percentile
3) Body weight
4) % BF
5) Weight loss behaviours: dieting, weight concerns, exercise, overeating, and avoidance of fattening foods
6) Website use
6, 12, 18 and 24 months- In comparison with the control group, adolescents in the behavioural programme statistically significantly reduced their % BF (−1.12 (0.47) vs 0.43 (0.47), p < 0.05) during the first 6 months. However, after 2 years, % BF did not differ between the two groups (−0.08 (0.71) vs. 0.84 (0.72), p > 0.05)
- Adolescents in both the treatment and control groups reported improvement in exercise and overeating, in comparison with baseline (p < 0.05)
BMI (kg/m2)- 0.47 (− 2.29, 1.35)0.61
% BF−0.9 (−2.9, 1.06)0.37
BMI percentile−0.003 (− 0.011, 0.0053)0.48
  1. Abbreviations - BMI body mass index, WHtR waist to height ratio, BP blood pressure, PA physical activity, DBP diastolic blood pressure, FV fruit and vegetables, WC waist circumference, SB2-BED Student Bodies 2 – BED, OBEs objective binge episodes, SBEs subjective binge episodes, % BF percentage body fat
  2. *P-values in bold are statistically significant at 5% significance level