Short message service (SMS) text messaging as an intervention medium for weight loss: A literature review

Health Informatics J. 2012 Dec;18(4):235-50. doi: 10.1177/1460458212442422.


Nearly 68% of American adults are obese or overweight. Mobile devices such as mobile phones have emerged as a mode of intervention delivery to help people improve their health, particularly in relation to weight loss. This literature review examines the relationship between the use of short message service (SMS) text messaging as an intervention medium and weight loss. Results from this literature review (n = 14) suggest that SMS as an intervention tool for weight loss is still in its infancy. Initial results are promising but continued investigation is needed. We offer several recommendations for future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Text Messaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*