Controlled studies that evaluated public health programmes with a duration of at least three months in China that aimed to prevent, control or reduce obesity or obesity-related risk factors were eligible for inclusion. Studies were required to report anthropometric outcomes such as body mass index (BMI) or weight. Studies of clinic-based programmes were excluded from the review.
Included studies focused on either children and adolescents or adults. Approximately half of the studies that targeted children were population-wide studies and half focused on obese and overweight children. Most studies included physical activity, dietary intervention, family involvement and health education components. Some also used behaviour modification. All studies that focused on adults were community- rather than work-based. Most were designed for prevention and control of cardiovascular disease. The duration of interventions ranged from three to 96 months.
The authors stated neither how the papers were selected for the review nor how many reviewers performed the selection.