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Effectiveness of male-only weight loss and weight loss maintenance interventions: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Authors

  • M. D. Young,

    1. Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
    2. School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
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  • P. J. Morgan,

    Corresponding author
    1. Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
    2. School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
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  • R. C. Plotnikoff,

    1. Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
    2. School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
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  • R. Callister,

    1. Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
    2. School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
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  • C. E. Collins

    1. Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
    2. School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
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PJ Morgan, School of Education, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. E-mail: philip.morgan@newcastle.edu.au

Summary

The objectives of this systematic review were to investigate the effectiveness of male-only weight loss and weight loss maintenance interventions and to identify intervention characteristics associated with effectiveness. In May 2011, a systematic literature search with no date restrictions was conducted across eight databases. Twenty-four articles describing 23 studies met the eligibility criteria. All studies included a weight loss intervention and four studies included an additional weight loss maintenance intervention. Study quality was mostly poor for weight loss studies (median = 3/10, range = 1–9) and weight loss maintenance studies (median = 3.5/10, range = 1–6). Twenty-three of 31 individual weight loss interventions (74%) from the eligible studies were considered effective. Meta-analysis revealed a significant difference in weight change favouring weight loss interventions over no-intervention controls at the last reported assessment (weighted mean difference −5.66 kg [−6.35, −4.97], Z = 16.04 [P < 0.00001]). Characteristics common to effectiveness were younger sample (mean age ≤42.8 years), increased frequency of contact (>2.7 contacts/month), group face-to-face contact and inclusion of a prescribed energy restriction. Preliminary evidence suggests men-only weight loss programmes may effectively engage and assist men with weight loss. However, more high-quality studies are urgently needed to improve the evidence base, particularly for maintenance studies.

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