Review of how (and how not) to help poorer people improve their diet and do more exercise

Shouting with a megaphone

We know that type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in groups with lower socioeconomic status, and we know that improving diet and taking exercise can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.  So how can we help poorer people to act on diet and exercise advice? A recent mixed methods systematic review looked at the [read the full story…]

Mass media and smoking: cause and cure?


Do mass media anti-smoking campaigns work? A recent Cochrane systematic review evaluated the evidence from controlled trials of mass media interventions on tobacco cessation. Not surprisingly, the reviewers found huge variation between the studies in the types of campaign they evaluated, and how they measured success. A key difficulty with this type of research is [read the full story…]

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Unclear evidence on the cost-effectiveness of distance lifestyle counselling for weight control in the workplace

Being overweight is bad for your health, but finding the time and resources to address this can be difficult. Using distance communication technology, such as e-mail or telephone, can help make person-to-person counselling more accessible to working adults. This isn’t the first time we’ve looked at interventions of this nature at The Lifestyle Elf, but [read the full story…]

Social media in health care: benefits, harms and the need for good quality evidence

How we communicate online has changed.  We have moved from communicating in a top-down linear fashion (coined Web 1.0) such as providing information on web-pages, to a world where producers of information are no longer separate from consumers of information (coined Web 2.0) – we are now able to collaborate, interact, create and exchange information. [read the full story…]

More research needed on effective GP interventions to promote physical activity in later life

An older woman swimming

Aging may be inevitable for us all but the way in which we look after our bodies can impact dramatically on the rate at which we age. One of the key ingredients to a long and healthy lifestyle is exercise. We’re living longer than ever before and if we want to spring into our autumn [read the full story…]

Injury prevention apps: Are they making substantiated claims?

Staying injury-free is an important piece to living a healthy, ongoing and active lifestyle. While taking part in physical activity always puts you at greater risk of injury, research in the past two decades has helped us better understand measures we can take to both better prevent and treat injuries, potentially decreasing some of the [read the full story…]

Text messages can help smokers quit finds Cochrane review

Texting has just turned 20, with the first text message (“Merry Christmas”) sent on 3rd December 1992. Not that it was possible to send a reply, as that bit hadn’t quite been worked out. Any idea how many UK adults now text at least once a day? Read on to find out. Texting has played a [read the full story…]

Phones show promise as a means of promoting exercise and a healthy diet

Phones, laptops, ipads, they’re all around us aren’t they? I just had a quick look around Elf HQ and there are more bits of technical kit between me and the coffee mugs than I could shake an old-fashioned stick at. The use of technologies such as telephones and the internet to deliver interventions which aim to [read the full story…]