Keywords

obesity, adolescence, weight control, electronic intervention, self-monitoring

Abstract

Background: The efficacy of adolescent weight control treatments is modest, and effective treatments are costly and are not widely available. Smartphones may be an effective method for delivering critical components of behavioral weight control treatment including behavioral self-monitoring.

Objective: To examine the efficacy and acceptability of a smartphone assisted adolescent behavioral weight control intervention.

Methods: A total of 16 overweight or obese adolescents (mean age=14.29 years, standard deviation=1.12) received 12 weeks of combined treatment that consisted of weekly in-person group behavioral weight control treatment sessions plus smartphone self-monitoring and daily text messaging. Subsequently they received 12 weeks of electronic-only intervention, totaling 24 weeks of intervention.

Results: On average, participants attained modest but significant reductions in body mass index standard score (zBMI: 0.08 standard deviation units, t (13)=2.22, P=.04, d=0.63) over the in-person plus electronic-only intervention period but did not maintain treatment gains over the electronic-only intervention period. Participants self-monitored on approximately half of combined intervention days but less than 20% of electronic-only intervention days.

Conclusions: Smartphones likely hold promise as a component of adolescent weight control interventions but they may be less effective in helping adolescents maintain treatment gains after intensive interventions.

Original Publication Citation

Jensen CD, Duncombe KM, Lott MA, Hunsaker SL, Duraccio KM, Woolford SJ An Evaluation of a Smartphone–Assisted Behavioral Weight Control Intervention for Adolescents: Pilot Study JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2016;4(3):e102. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.6034

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2016

Publisher

JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Psychology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

Included in

Psychology Commons

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