Conceptualizing weight management for night shift workers: A mixed-methods systematic review

Corinne Davis, Catherine E. Huggins, Sue Kleve, Gloria K.W. Leung, Maxine P. Bonham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Shift workers have an increased risk of obesity and metabolic conditions. This mixed-methods systematic literature review on night shift workers aimed to: (1) identify barriers/enablers of weight management; (2) examine effectiveness of weight management interventions; and (3) determine whether interventions addressed enablers/barriers. Six databases were searched, articles screened by title/abstract, followed by full-text review, and quality assessment. Eligible qualitative studies documented experiences of behaviors related to weight change. Eligible quantitative studies were behavior change interventions with weight/body mass index outcomes. A thematic synthesis was undertaken for qualitative studies using the social-ecological model (SEM). Interventions were synthesized narratively including: weight/body composition change; components mapped by behavior change taxonomy; and SEM. A synthesis was undertaken to identify if interventions addressed perceived enablers/barriers. Eight qualitative (n = 169 participants) and 12 quantitative studies (n = 1142 participants) were included. Barriers predominated discussions: intrapersonal (time, fatigue, stress); interpersonal (work routines/cultural norms); organizational (fatigue, lack of: routine, healthy food options, breaks/predictable work); community (lack of healthy food options). The primary outcome for interventions was not weight loss and most did not address many identified enablers/barriers. One intervention reported a clinically significant weight loss result. Weight loss interventions that address barriers/enablers at multiple SEM levels are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13659
Number of pages18
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • diet
  • exercise
  • obesity
  • work schedule

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