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The impact of social media interventions on eating behaviours and diet in adolescents and young adults: a mixed methods systematic review protocol

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Tang, Hao 
Spreckley, Marie 
Van Sluijs, Esther 
Ahern, Amy 
Smith, Andrea 


Introduction Adolescents and young adults are a susceptible population when it comes to healthy eating and dietary behaviours. The increasing use of social media by this age group presents a unique opportunity to promote healthy eating habits. Social media has become a popular platform for promoting health interventions, particularly among young people. However, there is a lack of consensus on the effectiveness of social media interventions in this population. This mixed-methods systematic review aims to synthesize the available evidence on the impact of social media interventions on healthy eating behaviours among young people, their qualitative views and user experiences, and the intervention characteristics, behaviour change theories and techniques used to promote healthy eating.
Methods and Analysis We will conduct a comprehensive search of seven electronic databases, including ASSIA, Cochrane Library, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science. The search strategy will use a combination of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms and keywords covering three domains: social media, eating behaviours, and young people. The search will be limited to peer-reviewed published papers in any language, published from 2000. Three independent reviewers will screen studies based on pre-determined eligibility criteria. Data will be extracted and analysed using a convergent segregated mixed-methods approach. We will use random-effects meta-analysis or Synthesis Without Meta-analysis (SWiM) for quantitative data, and thematic synthesis for qualitative data. Finally, narrative synthesis using concurrent triangulation will be used to bring together the results of the mixed-method data analysis to provide a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the impact and other features social media interventions. This systematic review will adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required since this systematic review will not collect original data. The outcomes of this review will be shared through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, and will contribute to the PhD thesis of the primary author. PROSPERO registration number CRD42023414476



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BMJ Open

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BMJ Publishing Group