Skip to content Skip to navigation

Texting Effective Weight-Loss Intervention, Study Says

November 18, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

Tracking diet and exercise habits through text message interventions may improve the likelihood of people getting healthier than traditional methods, according to a recent study from researchers at Duke University.

The researchers looked at 50 obese women who either received daily texts for weight-loss intervention or used traditional methods like food journals on paper and over the computer. After six months, the 26 women who used the text messages lost an average three points, while 24 women who used traditional methods actually gained 2 ½ pounds.

The text messages, researchers say, focused on tracking tailored behavioral goals such as no sugary drinks and 10,000 steps per day. An automated text message would ask them to give the number of steps they walked or sugary drinks they had, and when they answered, it would send back personalized feedback and a tip.

Researchers focused on helping obese black women lose weight (82 percent of participants were black). They say this is because 59 percent of black women are obese, and many use cell phones. They believe this makes text messaging a good way to reach this high-risk population. Similar pilots were conducted in Cincinnati and Boston, through the Beacon Community and Center for Connected Health respectively, using text-message interventions to engage underserved populations.

"Text messaging has become ubiquitous and may be an effective method to simplify tracking of diet and exercise behaviors," stated lead author Dori Steinberg, a post-doctoral obesity researcher in the Duke Obesity Prevention Program. "Given the increasing utilization of mobile devices, text messaging may be a useful tool for weight loss, particularly among populations most in need of weight-loss treatment.”

Topics

News

CMS Extends Deadline for eCQM Data Submission

CMS is extending the deadline for eligible hospitals in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) and Meaningful Use programs to submit their electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data from 2016.

NorthShore Revalidated by HIMSS Analytics as Stage 7 Worthy

Due to its continued use of IT to improve patient care and reduce costs, Chicago-based NorthShore University HealthSystem has received Stage 7 revalidation on HIMSS’ acute care EMRAM and outpatient EMRAM for its hospitals and associated clinics.

Cybersecurity Consulting Firm CynergisTek Acquired by Auxilio

Austin, Tex.-based cybersecurity and privacy consulting firm CynergisTek has been acquired by Auxilio, Inc., a provider of document workflow solutions and IT security services based in Mission Viejo, California, in a deal valued at up to $34.3 million.

Healthcare Data Breaches: A Year in Review

The latest year-in-review Breach Barometer report from Protenus paints a stark picture—2016 average at least one health data breach per day, affecting more than 27 million patient records.

Healthcare Industry Could Save $9.4B with Full Adoption of Electronic Transactions

The healthcare industry continues to make modest progress toward full adoption of electronic business transactions, but significant gaps remain, representing an opportunity for $9.4 billion in savings, according to new data from the 2016 CAQH Index.

ONC Announces Phase 2 Winners of Consumer, Provider App Challenges

ONC today announced the Phase 2 winners for the Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge and the Provider User Experience Challenge.