To describe the evidence that has accrued for interventions targeting weight loss in postmenopausal women, and to assess the strengths and limitations of weight loss interventions in postmenopausal women using the framework of evaluation theory, including definition of the problem and the use of theoretical framework and mediators.Electronic databases were used, including CINAHL, EBSCO Host, Google scholar, Medline, and the Science Citation Index, Expanded, in the Web of Science from 1995 to December 2009. Keyword searches included the terms obesity, obese, overweight, menopause, and weight management interventions. Searches were combined to find reports addressing 1 or more keywords.Experimental design studies that examined physical activity or dietary intervention effects on weight loss or body composition changes in postmenopausal women were selected for review. Reports of 15 intervention studies met inclusion criteria from the list of 120 generated through the database searches.Each article was evaluated for 1) effects produced as a result of the intervention, 2) the characteristics of the problem of postmenopausal obesity, 3) specification of theoretical constructs and critical inputs that guide the design of an intervention, and 4) link of the theoretical predictors and the outcome measures selected.Four types of interventions were tested in the 15 research reports. Only 5 of the 15 used theories or models to guide the interventions. All of the interventions resulted in some positive weight management outcome, such as lowered body mass index, fat mass, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol.Overall, the reviewed research showed efficacy of varying intensities of exercise when combined with hypocaloric diet or meal replacement therapy in producing low body weight, low fat, improved insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, and cardio-respiratory fitness. The external validity of the 15 studies was limited in reporting of a clear delineation of the problem, theoretical frameworks, and application of the findings.
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