October 29, 2013
Study finds text messaging effective for weight loss
People in a Weight Watchers program who received motivational and reminder text messages lost an average of 4.5 pounds more in a 12-week period than those who were left to their own volition, a newly published study found. MobileHealthNews reports via @jranck.
The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of tailored text messages on body weight change in overweight and obese adults in a community-based weight management program. A secondary aim was to detect behavioral changes in the same population. The study design was quasi-experimental with pretest and posttest analysis, conducted over 12 weeks.
A total of 28 participants were included in the analysis. Body weight, eating behaviors, exercise and nutrition self-efficacy, attitude toward mobile technology, social support, and physical activity were assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks.
Text messages were sent biweekly to the intervention but not to the control group. At 12 weeks, the intervention group had lost significant weight as compared with the control group.
There was a trend toward an improvement in eating behaviors, exercise, and nutrition self-efficacy in the intervention group, with no significant difference between groups.
A total of 79% of participants stated that text messages helped in adopting healthy behaviors. Tailored text messages appear to enhance weight loss in a weight management program at a community setting. Large-scale and long-term intervention studies are needed to confirm these findings.
The article, newly published in the scientific journal CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, describes what researchers said is the first study to look solely at text messaging as a means of enhancing clinician-patient communication for the purpose of behavior change.
Read full article.
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