Technology-Based Obesity Prevention Interventions Among Hispanic Adolescents in the United States: Scoping Review

JMIR Pediatr Parent. 2022 Nov 4;5(4):e39261. doi: 10.2196/39261.


Background: Given that today's adolescents are digital front-runners, technology-based obesity prevention strategies are age-appropriate for this population. The use of remote and wireless technologies may be suitable for extending the reach and engagement of obesity prevention efforts among high-risk Hispanic youths, as this subgroup is disproportionately affected by barriers that limit participation in traditional, in-person interventions.

Objective: The purpose of this scoping review was to examine the intervention and sample characteristics of technology-based obesity prevention interventions among Hispanic adolescents. We also examined feasibility criteria to assess the acceptability and appropriateness of technology-based strategies among Hispanic youths.

Methods: A comprehensive search of Embase and PubMed identified 7 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Data were extracted by 2 independent reviewers.

Results: Of the 7 included studies, half (n=4, 57%) used a randomized control trial design, with equal implementation in school (n=3, 43%) and clinic (n=4, 57%) settings. Studies commonly targeted improvements in diet (n=4, 57%) and physical activity (n=7, 100%), with only 1 (14%) study focused on sedentary behaviors. Just 2 (29%) studies reported the use of behavioral theories or models. Studies focused primarily on youths in early (n=5, 71%) or middle (n=6, 86%) adolescence, and there was limited information reported on socioeconomic status. Only 3 (43%) study conducted formative work, and few (n=3, 43%) reported on acceptability. Only 1 (14%) study reported that materials were available in Spanish and English, and only 1 (14%) study used culturally tailored content. Additionally, 3 (43%) studies used strategies that considered social determinants of health.

Conclusions: To increase our understanding of the feasibility and effectiveness of technology-based obesity prevention strategies among Hispanic adolescents, there is a need for more feasibility studies that are theoretically grounded and comprehensively report on feasibility-related outcomes. Future studies should also leverage technology to simultaneously address multiple health behaviors beyond diet and physical activity. The result of this review can be used to guide the development of future technology-based obesity prevention strategies among Hispanic adolescents.

Trial registration: NCT04953442;

Keywords: Hispanic; adolescents; effectiveness; engagement; feasibility; health disparities; intervention; obesity; prevention; prevention interventions; technology.

Publication types

  • Review

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