Long-term Lifestyle-modification Programs for Overweight and ObesityManagement in the Arab States: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


Background: Obesity is a growing health problem worldwide. It is associated with serious medical and psychosocial comorbidities that increase the risk of mortality. However, strong evidence confirms lifestyle-modification programs as the cornerstone treatment for excess weight and obesity. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of the lifestyle-modification programs for weight management delivered in Arabic-speaking countries. Methods: The PubMed database was searched, and studies conducted in humans were identified and screened as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Data were collated using meta-analysis and a narrative approach. Results: Of the 1057 articles retrieved, six studies, conducted in four Arab countries, comprising a total of 444 adolescent and adult participants of both genders with overweight and obesity, met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. Most studies that assessed weight loss at 6-month follow-up showed no significant reduction in body weight. Meta-analysis confirmed that the lifestyle-modification programs delivered were no more effective than other treatments. Only one article reported significant weight-loss maintenance after 12 months of follow-up. However this was a prospective non-controlled study in which the weight loss maintained (=4%) did not conform to the standard for clinical significance (>10%). Conclusion: Lifestyle-modification programs for weight management delivered in Arabic-speaking countries seem lacking in effectiveness due to methodological weaknesses in program adaptation, a lack of expert clinical supervision before and during implementation, and the presence of barriers to lifestyle modification, especially for women. Future studies should bear these features in mind.


Dima Selim Kreidieh


dima Selim kreidieh , leila Ahmad itani

Journal/Conference Information

Current Diabetes Reviews ,DOI: DOI:10.2174/1573399813666170619085756, Volume: 13, Issue: 2017, Pages Range: 1-9