Recommendations for research

The Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) recommends that the following research questions should be addressed. It notes that 'effectiveness' in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but also to cost effectiveness and duration of effect. It also takes into account any harmful or negative side effects.

All the research should aim to identify differences in effectiveness among groups, based on characteristics such as socioeconomic status, age, gender and ethnicity to address inequalities in health.

1 What is the effect on weight outcomes of a collection of individually modifiable dietary habits, physical activity and other lifestyle behaviours?

Mixed methods research is needed that considers the acceptability and adherence to changes for different population groups, potential interactions between behaviours that may make changes to behaviour easier or harder to sustain, and any effect on health inequalities. Information is needed on processes for change, for example, effective practical strategies for reducing dietary energy density and increasing leisure time physical activity.

2 What are effective and acceptable messages, routes and sources of communicating information about individually modifiable behaviours and weight outcomes for a range of population groups?

Data are also needed on the effect on health inequalities.

3 What are the optimal frequency and tools for self-monitoring body weight and associated behaviours in populations with a healthy weight?

Mixed methods research is needed, including research on newer and innovative technologies (including apps) and the transferability of data on weight management for the prevention of excess weight gain.

More detail identified during development of this guideline is provided in gaps in the evidence.