Behavioral weight loss interventions for people with physical disabilities: A systematic review

Jihad Hossaini, Vanesa Osmani, Stefanie J. Klug

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aim: The aim of this study is to examine which interventions lead to clinically significant weight loss among people with physical disabilities. Methods: We systematically searched three electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, and CENTRAL) including studies until May 2022 to find randomized controlled trials on behavioral interventions and weight-related outcomes in people with physical disabilities. Pharmacological or surgical interventions were excluded. Study quality was evaluated using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Interventions were grouped as dietary, physical activity, education/coaching, or multi-component. Mean weight changes, standard deviations, confidence intervals, and effect sizes were extracted or calculated for assessment of the intervention effect. Results: Sixty studies involving 6,511 participants were included in the qualitative synthesis. Most studies (n = 32) included multi-component interventions, incorporating dietary and physical activity components. Limited evidence suggests that extensive dietary interventions or long-term multi-component interventions might lead to a clinically relevant weight reduction of at least 5% for older individuals (age > 50) with mild-to-moderate mobility impairments. Discussion: Due to the high heterogeneity of studies and low study quality, it can be assumed that the range of applicability of the findings is questionable. Further research should examine younger age groups (i.e., children, adolescents, and adults under 40 years) and compare different settings such as schools, clinics, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13722
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • people with disabilities
  • physical impairment
  • systematic review
  • weight loss
  • weight reduction programs


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