Cell phone intervention for you (CITY): A randomized, controlled trial of behavioral weight loss intervention for young adults using mobile technology.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect on weight of two mobile technology-based (mHealth) behavioral weight loss interventions in young adults. METHODS: Randomized, controlled comparative effectiveness trial in 18- to 35-year-olds with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2) (overweight/obese), with participants randomized to 24 months of mHealth intervention delivered by interactive smartphone application on a cell phone (CP); personal coaching enhanced by smartphone self-monitoring (PC); or Control. RESULTS: The 365 randomized participants had mean baseline BMI of 35 kg/m(2) . Final weight was measured in 86% of participants. CP was not superior to Control at any measurement point. PC participants lost significantly more weight than Controls at 6 months (net effect -1.92 kg [CI -3.17, -0.67], P = 0.003), but not at 12 and 24 months. CONCLUSIONS: Despite high intervention engagement and study retention, the inclusion of behavioral principles and tools in both interventions, and weight loss in all treatment groups, CP did not lead to weight loss, and PC did not lead to sustained weight loss relative to Control. Although mHealth solutions offer broad dissemination and scalability, the CITY results sound a cautionary note concerning intervention delivery by mobile applications. Effective intervention may require the efficiency of mobile technology, the social support and human interaction of personal coaching, and an adaptive approach to intervention design.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Svetkey, LP; Batch, BC; Lin, P-H; Intille, SS; Corsino, L; Tyson, CC; Bosworth, HB; Grambow, SC; Voils, C; Loria, C; Gallis, JA; Schwager, J; Bennett, GG

Published Date

  • November 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2133 - 2141

PubMed ID

  • 26530929

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4636032

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1930-739X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/oby.21226


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States