A systematic review of the use of dietary self-monitoring in behavioural weight loss interventions: Delivery, intensity and effectiveness

Margaret Raber, Yue Liao, Anne Rara, Susan M. Schembre, Kate J. Krause, Larkin Strong, Carrie Daniel-Macdougall, Karen Basen-Engquist

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify dietary self-monitoring implementation strategies in behavioural weight loss interventions. Design: We conducted a systematic review of eight databases and examined fifty-nine weight loss intervention studies targeting adults with overweight/obesity that used dietary self-monitoring. Setting: NA. Participants: NA. Results: We identified self-monitoring implementation characteristics, effectiveness of interventions in supporting weight loss and examined weight loss outcomes among higher and lower intensity dietary self-monitoring protocols. Included studies utilised diverse self-monitoring formats (paper, website, mobile app, phone) and intensity levels (recording all intake or only certain aspects of diet). We found the majority of studies using high- and low-intensity self-monitoring strategies demonstrated statistically significant weight loss in intervention groups compared with control groups. Conclusions: Based on our findings, lower and higher intensity dietary self-monitoring may support weight loss, but variability in adherence measures and limited analysis of weight loss relative to self-monitoring usage limits our understanding of how these methods compare with each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5885-5913
Number of pages29
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 20 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioural intervention
  • Self-monitoring
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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