RELAX: A Mobile Application Suite Targeting Obesity and Stress

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University of Connecticut

Status

Completed

Conditions

Weight
Stress

Treatments

Behavioral: Simple Dietary Self-Monitoring; Device: smartphone; Other: physical activity
Behavioral: Comprehensive Dietary Self-Monitoring; Device: smartphone; Other: physical activity

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other
NIH

Identifiers

NCT02615171
H17-217
1R01HL122302-01A1 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)

Details and patient eligibility

About

This research is being done is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a novel weight loss mobile app that was designed to be less burdensome than traditional weight loss apps.

Full description

Obesity and stress are highly comorbid and both increase risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Stress is associated with disinhibited eating, junk food consumption and low consumption of produce and whole grains. Both stress and stress-induced eating are not only associated with obesity but also predict worst outcomes in lifestyle interventions. Stress and stress-induced eating should be targeted in interventions to maximize weight loss; however, this makes for a very intensive intervention. Technology could be leveraged to reduce intervention burden. In this trial investigators propose to compare the feasibility, usability, acceptability, and burden of an traditional weight loss app that includes diet and physical activity self-monitoring features to an app (Slip Buddy) we developed that focuses on self-monitoring of stress eating. With Slip Buddy, the user is just asked to track overeating episodes, indicating when they are triggered by stress. The majority of weight loss apps are burdensome to users by requiring them to self-monitor diet and exercise. They also ignore major barriers to weight loss, such as stress. This work moves the field forward by addressing user burden and an important barrier to weight loss.

Enrollment

64 patients

Sex

All

Ages

18 to 65 years old

Volunteers

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Have a BMI of 27-45
  • Currently use an Android smartphone
  • Have cell phone connectivity at home and work
  • Uses a smartphone every day

Exclusion criteria

  • Under the age of 18 and over the age of 65;
  • BMI under 27 or over 45;
  • Not interested in losing weight;
  • Does not currently own a smartphone;
  • Smartphone type and/or version not meeting app requirements;
  • No phone connectivity at home and work;
  • Unable to walk unaided for ¼ mile without stopping;
  • Has a condition that precludes dietary changes (i.e. ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, active diverticulitis, renal disease);
  • On a medication affecting weight;
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes;
  • Had gastric bypass surgery;
  • Had or plans to have gastric bypass surgery during the study period;
  • Pregnant/lactating;
  • Has bipolar disorder, substance abuse, bulimia, or severe depression;
  • Lost 5% or more body weight in the last 3 months;
  • Has not experienced emotional eating over the last week;
  • On medication affecting weight;
  • Has concerns about being audiotaped;
  • Prisoner;
  • Unable to provide consent; or
  • Non-English speaking

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

None (Open label)

64 participants in 2 patient groups

Comprehensive Dietary Self-Monitoring
Active Comparator group
Description:
The intervention includes Facebook-delivered weight loss counseling and the use of MyFitnessPal, a comprehensive diet and exercise self-monitoring app. The intervention will last for 12 weeks. In addition to weight loss counseling in a private Facebook group, participants will be encouraged to use the self-monitoring app to enter everything they eat and do for exercise during the intervention period (12 weeks). Participants will receive a daily calorie goal directly from the app. Participants will receive a Fitbit scale to take their weight weekly and at assessments.
Treatment:
Behavioral: Comprehensive Dietary Self-Monitoring; Device: smartphone; Other: physical activity
Simple Dietary Self-Monitoring
Active Comparator group
Description:
The intervention includes Facebook-delivered weight loss counseling and the use of Slip Buddy, an app created by the investigative team that only requires users to record instances of overeating by hitting a single button and then indicate the overeating trigger and stress and hunger levels. The intervention will last for 12 weeks. In addition to the weight loss counseling, participants will be asked to use the Slip Buddy app during the intervention period (12 weeks). Participants will receive a Fitbit scale to take their weight weekly and at assessments.
Treatment:
Behavioral: Simple Dietary Self-Monitoring; Device: smartphone; Other: physical activity

Trial documents
3

Trial contacts and locations

1

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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