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Prev Med. 2012 Nov;55(5):412-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.08.011. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

Text4Diet: a randomized controlled study using text messaging for weight loss behaviors.

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  • 1Santech, Inc., San Diego, CA 92121, USA. Jennifer@DrJenniferS.com



Text-messaging shows promise as a health intervention. This randomized controlled trial evaluated a daily text-messaging weight loss intervention.


Overweight and obese adults (n=170) in California were randomized to receive daily interactive and personally weight-relevant text-messages or monthly e-newsletters. Participants were measured at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Group differences were assessed in weight loss. Relation of text-messaging adherence to weight loss and change in pedometer steps was examined.


There were no group differences in weight loss over 6 (1.53 lb vs 3.72 lb) or 12 months (2.27 lb vs 3.64 lb; control vs intervention). Text-messaging adherence was moderately strong (60-69%). Participants with greater adherence lost more weight at 6 (p=.039) and 12 months (p=.023) than those who were less adherent. Intervention participants' steps increased almost 3000 steps/day over time (p<.05), and higher step counts were associated with greater weight loss (p<.05). Text-messaging satisfaction was moderate to high, and pedometer-related satisfaction was associated with greater weight loss (p<.05).


Although text-messaging had no effect on weight, adherence was associated with improvement in weight-related behaviors and weight outcomes. Text-messages could be a useful adjunct to weight loss treatments.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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