Over the last decade, mobile technology has emerged as a potentially useful platform to facilitate weight management and tackle the current obesity epidemic. Clinicians are being more frequently asked to give advice about the usefulness of mobile apps and many individuals have already integrated apps into their attempts to manage weight. Hence, it is imperative for clinicians involved in weight management to be aware of the latest developments and knowledge about available mobile apps and their usefulness in this field. A number of newly published studies have demonstrated promising results of mobile-based interventions for weight management across different populations, but the extent of their effectiveness remains widely debated. This narrative literature review synthesizes the latest evidence, primarily from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), regarding the clinical use of mobile applications for weight management, as well as highlight key limitations associated with their use and directions for future research and practice. Overall, evidence suggests that mobile applications may be useful as low-intensity approaches or adjuncts to conventional weight management strategies. However, there is insufficient evidence to support their use as stand-alone intensive approaches to weight management. Further research is needed to clarify the extent of utility of these applications, as well as the measures required to maximize their potential both as stand-alone approaches and adjuncts to more intensive programs.
- mobile applications
- weight management