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J Acad Nutr Diet. 2019 Sep;119(9):1516-1524. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2019.03.012. Epub 2019 May 30.

Defining Adherence to Mobile Dietary Self-Monitoring and Assessing Tracking Over Time: Tracking at Least Two Eating Occasions per Day Is Best Marker of Adherence within Two Different Mobile Health Randomized Weight Loss Interventions.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mobile dietary self-monitoring methods allow for objective assessment of adherence to self-monitoring; however, the best way to define self-monitoring adherence is not known.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to identify the best criteria for defining adherence to dietary self-monitoring with mobile devices when predicting weight loss.

DESIGN:

This was a secondary data analysis from two 6-month randomized trials: Dietary Intervention to Enhance Tracking with Mobile Devices (n=42 calorie tracking app or n=39 wearable Bite Counter device) and Self-Monitoring Assessment in Real Time (n=20 kcal tracking app or n=23 photo meal app).

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING:

Adults (n=124; mean body mass index=34.7±5.6) participated in one of two remotely delivered weight-loss interventions at a southeastern university between 2015 and 2017.

INTERVENTION:

All participants received the same behavioral weight loss information via twice-weekly podcasts. Participants were randomly assigned to a specific diet tracking method.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Seven methods of tracking adherence to self-monitoring (eg, number of days tracked, and number of eating occasions tracked) were examined, as was weight loss at 6 months.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED:

Linear regression models estimated the strength of association (R2) between each method of tracking adherence and weight loss, adjusting for age and sex.

RESULTS:

Among all study completers combined (N=91), adherence defined as the overall number of days participants tracked at least two eating occasions explained the most variance in weight loss at 6 months (R2=0.27; P<0.001). Self-monitoring declined over time; all examined adherence methods had fewer than half the sample still tracking after Week 10.

CONCLUSIONS:

Using the total number of days at least two eating occasions are tracked using a mobile self-monitoring method may be the best way to assess self-monitoring adherence during weight loss interventions. This study shows that self-monitoring rates decline quickly and elucidates potential times for early interventions to stop the reductions in self-monitoring.

KEYWORDS:

Adherence; Diet; Self-monitoring; Weight loss; mHealth

PMID:
31155473
PMCID:
PMC6856872
[Available on 2020-09-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.jand.2019.03.012

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