This systematic review was conducted to determine user satisfaction and effectiveness of smartphone applications and text messaging interventions to promote weight reduction and physical activity. Studies of smartphone applications and text messaging interventions related to the cardiovascular risk factors of physical inactivity and overweight/obesity published between January 2005 and August 2010 were eligible. Studies related to disease management were excluded. Study characteristics and results were gathered and synthesized. A total of 36 citations from CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed were identified; 7 articles were eligible for inclusion. The most frequent outcome measured in the studies was change in the weight of participants (57%). More than half of the studies (71%) reported statistically significant results in at least 1 outcome of weight loss, physical activity, dietary intake, decreased body mass index, decreased waist circumference, sugar-sweetened beverage intake, screen time, and satisfaction or acceptability outcomes. All of the technology interventions that were supported by education or an additional intervention demonstrated a beneficial impact of text messaging or smartphone application for reduction of physical inactivity and/or overweight/obesity. More rigorous trials that determine what parts of the technology or intervention are effective as well as establishment of cost-effectiveness are necessary for further evaluation of smartphone and text messaging interventions.
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