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Objective: Text-messaging shows promise as a health intervention. This randomized controlled trial evaluated a daily text-messaging weight loss intervention. Methods: Overweight and obese adults (n = 170) in California were randomized to receive daily interactive and personally weight-relevant text-messages or monthly e-newsletters. Participants were measured at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Group differences were assessed in weight loss. Relation of text-messaging adherence to weight loss and change in pedometer steps was examined. Results: There were no group differences in weight loss over 6 (1.53 lb vs 3.72 lb) or 12 months (2.27 lb vs 3.64 lb; control vs intervention). Text-messaging adherence was moderately strong (60–69%). Participants with greater adherence lost more weight at 6 (p = .039) and 12 months (p = .023) than those who were less adherent. Intervention participants' steps increased almost 3000 steps/day over time (p < .05), and higher step counts were associated with greater weight loss (p < .05). Text-messaging satisfaction was moderate to high, and pedometer-related satisfaction was associated with greater weight loss (p < .05). Conclusions: Although text-messaging had no effect on weight, adherence was associated with improvement in weight-related behaviors and weight outcomes. Text-messages could be a useful adjunct to weight loss treatments.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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