HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.
Chloe Muntefering, Speaker at Obesity Conference
University of Wisconsin- Madison, United States


Research Objective: An increasing number of adults with obesity are experiencing poorer mental and physical health outcomes, with annual healthcare expenses expected to top $1.2 trillion by 2025 in global obesity-related diseases. To reduce the annual obesity-related health care costs, systems and providers must aim to prevent obesity before it occurs among adults. This scoping review aimed to characterize and identify gaps in primary prevention interventions targeting adult populations at risk for obesity.

Study Design: The scoping review was conducted using the Arksey and O’Malley framework. Electronic literature searches of PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, and PscyINFO were completed. Articles published in English between 2006 and present were sought on primary prevention interventions with adult populations at risk of obesity. Four independent reviewers screened 7216 articles for inclusion and exclusion.

Population Studied: Non-obese adults with Body Mass Index (BMI) £ 29.9.

Principle Findings: Sixteen articles were included in this review. Of these 16 articles, 4 were published in the United States. Seven articles were targeted specifically at adult women as intervention participants, whereas the remaining 9 articles included both men and women. Primary prevention interventions generally included content related to assessing weight, increasing physical activity, promoting dietary changes, and providing health education. The review found over 12 different outcome measures aimed to assess the efficacy of interventions, with the majority of interventions using changes in BMI as an outcome measure.

Conclusion: This is the first scoping review to characterize and identify gaps in the adult primary prevention literature addressing obesity. Findings illustrate that primary prevention interventions frequently occur outside of the United States. These interventions often target women at risk for obesity and vary significantly in regards to content and how outcomes are measured.

Implications for Research and Practice: This scoping review indicates that primary prevention interventions targeting adults at risk for obesity are limited. Findings highlight the need for research to develop and test primary prevention interventions tailored to meeting health needs of both women and men. Additionally, this review demonstrates the need for the United States health care system to better address chronic conditions like obesity by shifting from diagnostic models of care to more preventative care models. Further examining the potential of primary prevention in adult populations at risk of weight gain could be valuable to reducing the mounting prevalence of obesity.

Audience Take Away:

  • Identify what populations are targeted by primary prevention interventions.
  • Describe content that is included in primary prevention interventions.
  • Understand the efficacyof primary prevention interventions targeting adults at risk for obesity.


Chloe Muntefering is an occupational therapist who graduated with her MS in occupational therapy in 2015 from Colorado State University. She worked as a practicing occupational therapist for six years before returning to the University of Wisconsin- Madison to pursue her PhD in Kinesiology- Occupational Science. Chloe has research interests in preventative health, health promotion, obesity, and aging adults.