Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Primary health care-level interventions targeting health literacy and their effect on weight loss: a systematic review
Author: Faruqi, N.
Spooner, C.
Joshi, C.
Lloyd, J.
Dennis, S.
Stocks, N.
Taggart, J.
Harris, M.
Citation: BMC Obesity, 2015; 2(6):1-16
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 2052-9538
Statement of
Nighat Faruqi, Catherine Spooner, Chandni Joshi, Jane Lloyd, Sarah Dennis, Nigel Stocks, Jane Taggart, and Mark F Harris
Abstract: Background: Enhancing individual’s health literacy for weight loss is important in addressing the increasing burden of chronic disease due to overweight and obesity. We conducted a systematic review and narrative synthesis to determine the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions aimed at improving adults’ knowledge and skills for weight loss in primary health care. The literature search included English-language papers published between 1990 and 30 June 2013 reporting research conducted within Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries. Twelve electronic databases and five journals were searched and this was supplemented by hand searching. The study population included adults (≥18 years old) with a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 and without chronic disease at baseline. We included intervention studies with a minimum 6 month follow-up. Three reviewers independently extracted data and two reviewers independently assessed study quality by using predefined criteria. The main outcome was a change in measured weight and/or BMI over 6 or 12 months. Results: Thirteen intervention studies, all targeting diet, physical activity and behaviour change to improve individuals’ knowledge and/or skills for weight loss, were included with 2,089 participants. Most (9/13) of these studies were of a ‘weak’ quality. Seven studies provided training to the intervention deliverers. The majority of the studies (11/13) showed significant reduction in weight and/or BMI in at least one follow-up visit. There were no consistent associations in outcomes related to the mode of intervention delivery, the number or type of providers involved or the intensity of the intervention. Conclusions: There was evidence for the effectiveness of interventions that focussed on improving knowledge and skills (health literacy) for weight loss. However, there was insufficient evidence to determine relative effectiveness of individual interventions. The lack of studies measuring socio-economic status needs to be addressed in future research as the rates of obesity are high in disadvantaged population groups.
Keywords: Health literacy; Obesity; Systematic review; Intervention research; Primary health care
Rights: © 2015 Faruqi et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030030474
DOI: 10.1186/s40608-015-0035-7
Appears in Collections:Translational Health Science publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_92718.pdfPublished version803.7 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.