The effect of a short message service maintenance treatment on body mass index and psychological well-being in overweight and obese children: a randomized controlled trial
de Niet J, Timman R, Bauer S, van den Akker E, Buijks H, de Klerk C, Kordy H, Passchier J
Objective: Maintaining weight loss results in childhood obesity treatment is difficult to achieve. Self-management techniques such as self-monitoring are associated with increased weight loss and maintenance. This study analyzes whether self-monitoring of lifestyle behaviours through a short message service maintenance treatment (SMSMT) via mobile phones with personalized feedback positively effects weight, lifestyle behaviours and psychological well-being in obese children.
Methods: After 3 months of behavioural lifestyle treatment, 141 overweight and obese children (7–12 years) were randomly assigned to an intervention group receiving SMSMT for 9 months (n = 73) or to the control group (n = 68). The intervention group sent weekly self-monitoring data on exercise and eating behaviour and their mood via mobile phones. In return, they received tailored feedback messages. Primary treatment outcomes were weight, eating behaviour and psychological well-being, i.e. competence, self-esteem and quality of life. Secondary outcome was adherence to the SMSMT. Data were analyzed with mixed modelling.
Results: SMSMT did not improve treatment outcomes. Controls gained temporarily in physical health scores (P = 0.01). SMSMT completers sent on average every 2 weeks an SMS. Children who had greater weight loss during the first 3 months of lifestyle treatment sent more SMSs (P = 0.04).
Conclusions: We did not find a positive effect of SMSMT on weight, eating behaviour or psychological well-being in obese children. SMSMT seems to be a feasible method of treatment delivery. Future research should study variations of SMSMT to investigate how SMSMT can be more effective.
See this paper on the web (membership may be required)