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Interact J Med Res. 2017 Aug 2;6(2):e12. doi: 10.2196/ijmr.7860.

Short-Term Efficacy of an Innovative Mobile Phone Technology-Based Intervention for Weight Management for Overweight and Obese Adolescents: Pilot Study.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Department of Family Health Care Nursing, University of California San Francico, San Francisco, CA, United States.
2
Department of Kinesiology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, United States.
3
School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francsico, CA, United States.
4
Department of Pediatrics, North East Medical Services, San Francisco, CA, United States.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the United States, approximately one-third of adolescents are now overweight or obese, and one in six is obese. This financial cost and the larger nonfinancial costs of obesity make obesity prevention and management for adolescents imperative for the health of the nation. However, primary care visits are typically brief, and primary care providers may lack adequate resources to help overweight or obese adolescents to manage weight issues. To augment the efficacy of primary care visits for adolescent weight management, mobile phone technology can be used as an adjunct treatment that provides additional opportunities for encouraging improvement in lifestyle, attainment, and maintenance of healthy weight.

OBJECTIVE:

The purposes of this study were to (1) measure effects of an innovative mobile phone technology-based intervention for overweight and obese adolescents and to (2) examine the intervention's feasibility for use in primary care clinics.

METHODS:

The mobile phone-based intervention had three components: use of the Fitbit Flex, participation in an online educational program, and receipt of biweekly text messages during the maintenance phase. A randomized controlled study design was utilized. Data regarding anthropometrics (body mass index [BMI] and waist-to-hip ratio), blood pressure, levels of physical and sedentary activity, diet, and self-efficacy regarding physical activity and diet were collected at baseline and at 3 and 6 months after the baseline assessment.

RESULTS:

A total of 40 adolescents participated in the study. At the 6-month follow-up visit, compared to participants in the control group, the mobile phone-based intervention participants had significant improvement in BMI (z=-4.37, P=.001), diastolic blood pressure (z=-3.23, P=.001), physical activity days per week (z=2.58, P=.01), TV and computer time (z=-3.34, P=.001), servings of fruits and vegetables per day (z=2.74, P=.006), servings of soda and sweetened drinks (z=-3.19, P=.001), physical activity self-efficacy (z=2.75, P=.006), and dietary self-efficacy (z=5.05, P=.001). Medium to large effect sizes were found in these outcome variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of mobile technologies may offer a practical, reliable adjunct to weight management for overweight and obese adolescents in busy primary care clinics serving adolescents.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Clinicaltrials.gov NCT 01693250; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01693250? term=Adolescent+ obesity+AND+mhealth&rank=5 (Archived by WebCite at ).

KEYWORDS:

adolescent; mobile phone technology; obesity; randomized clinical trial; website

PMID:
28768612
DOI:
10.2196/ijmr.7860
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