The impact of wearable technology on long-term weight management and obesity: A systematic review (Preprint)
Fawcett E., Brindley D., Meinert E.
<sec> <title>BACKGROUND</title> <p>With the rising occurrence of obesity globally, the number of wearable devices available claiming to help with weight loss has risen, but their effectiveness in long-term weight management has not yet been made clear.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>OBJECTIVE</title> <p>A systematic review and critical appraisal of randomly controlled trails (RCTs), non-randomised studies of therapeutic interest (NRSIs), and other qualitative studies, was carried out.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>METHODS</title> <p>Studies were selected from the following databases: MEDLINE/PubMed, Compendex/ScienceDirect, Cochrane Central, Scopus, Ovid. Studies were included that took measurements over a period of ≥1 year, excluding populations with a BMI < 25 or age < 18. The studies were extracted to EndNote, and suitable ones were selected through abstract screening and then a full text review. Bias review was done through appropriate tools, (The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool, ROBINS-I, AMSTAR, ‘6 Questions to Trigger Critical Thinking’). The studies were broken down into themes and critically analysed to come to conclusions regarding the research question.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>RESULTS</title> <p>The studies were limited by the attrition of participants due to their longer study periods. Wearable devices did not show a benefit over standard interventions, although they still led to a statistically significant weight loss over time.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>CONCLUSIONS</title> <p>Due to the relative youth of the field of wearable devices, there was a small sample of long-term studies available, with a lack of consistency among them. Currently, there are inherent problems with the long-term studies into wearable devices. They are hard to blind, and it is difficult to separate the drop-off in usage of wearable devices as a problem with the design of the study and as a limit to the effectiveness of the wearable devices themselves. Consistency is needed in future long-term studies into wearable devices, as even the same device can have diverse results if the used technique is different.</p> </sec>