Adolescents with Overweight or Obesity Benefit from Digital Health Interventions

Two boys laughing and smiling.The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends digital health interventions to assist adolescents with overweight or obesity with weight management. Evidence from a systematic review of 11 studies shows these interventions lead to small but meaningful weight reductions.

What are digital health interventions?

These interventions are for adolescents aged 12-18 years who have overweight or obesity. They combine self-monitoring and goal setting to increase adolescents’ awareness of healthy dietary or physical activity behaviors that help with weight management. Trained personnel moderate programs with oversight by healthcare providers including psychologists, health counselors, dietitians, nurses, and pediatricians.

Why is this important?

In the United States, more than one in five adolescents aged 12-19 years has obesity, and 95% of teens have access to a smartphone. Children and adolescents who have obesity are more likely to develop a number of serious health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and breathing and joint problems. If children have obesity, their obesity and disease risk factors in adulthood are likely to be more severe.

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