Lifestyle factors are important in the development of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes, and chronic disease risk can be reduced by changes in lifestyle behaviors linked to these conditions. The use of mass media and community-wide strategies targeting these behaviors has been extensively evaluated since the 1970s. This review summarizes some examples of interventions and their use of media conducted within the old communications landscape of the 1970s and 1980s and the key lessons learned from their design, implementation, and evaluation. We then consider the potential and evidence base for using contemporary technology applications and platforms—within the new communications landscape—to improve the prevention and management of lifestyle-related chronic diseases in the future. We discuss the implications and adaptation of lessons derived from the ways in which new technologies are being used in commercial and political contexts and their relevance for public health. Finally, we consider some recent examples of applying new technologies to public health issues and consider some of the challenges in this rapidly developing field.


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