Funding agencies: The CITY study was sponsored by grant number U01HL096720 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Obesity Journal Symposium
Cell phone intervention for you (CITY): A randomized, controlled trial of behavioral weight loss intervention for young adults using mobile technology
Version of Record online: 4 NOV 2015
© 2015 The Obesity Society
Volume 23, Issue 11, pages 2133–2141, November 2015
How to Cite
Svetkey, L. P., Batch, B. C., Lin, P.-H., Intille, S. S., Corsino, L., Tyson, C. C., Bosworth, H. B., Grambow, S. C., Voils, C., Loria, C., Gallis, J. A., Schwager, J. and Bennett, G. B. (2015), Cell phone intervention for you (CITY): A randomized, controlled trial of behavioral weight loss intervention for young adults using mobile technology. Obesity, 23: 2133–2141. doi: 10.1002/oby.21226
Disclosure: Dr. Svetkey is a consultant to Oregon Center for Applied Science (ORCAS; Eugene, Oregon), a health innovation company that creates self-management programs to improve physical and emotional well-being. Dr. Grambow is a consultant to Gilead Sciences as a member of multiple DSMBs. Although the relationship is not perceived to represent a conflict with the present work, it has been included in the spirit of full disclosure. Dr. Bennett is a member of the scientific advisory board at Nutrisystem and owns shares in Scale Down, a digital weight loss vendor.
- Issue online: 4 NOV 2015
- Version of Record online: 4 NOV 2015
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JUN 2015
- Manuscript Revised: 20 MAY 2015
- Manuscript Received: 21 MAR 2015
Vol. 24, Issue 2, 536, Version of Record online: 8 JAN 2016
To determine the effect on weight of two mobile technology-based (mHealth) behavioral weight loss interventions in young adults.
Randomized, controlled comparative effectiveness trial in 18- to 35-year-olds with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 (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.
The 365 randomized participants had mean baseline BMI of 35 kg/m2. 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.
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.