Forming specific health plans can help translate good intentions into action. Mobile text reminders can further enhance the effects of planning on behavior.
Our aim was to explore the combined impact of a Web-based, fully automated planning tool and mobile text reminders on intention to change saturated fat intake, self-reported saturated fat intake, and portion size changes over 4 weeks.
Of 1013 men and women recruited online, 858 were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 conditions: a planning tool (PT), combined planning tool and text reminders (PTT), and a control group. All outcome measures were assessed by online self-reports. Analysis of covariance was used to analyze the data.
Participants allocated to the PT (meansat
fat 3.6, meancopingplanning 3) and PTT (meansaturatedfat 3.5, meancopingplanning 3.1) reported a lower consumption of high-fat foods (F
2,571 = 4.74, P = .009) and higher levels of coping planning (F
2,571 = 7.22, P < .001) than the control group (meansat
at 3.9, meancopingplanning 2.8). Participants in the PTT condition also reported smaller portion sizes of high-fat foods (mean 2.8; F
569 = 4.12, P = .0) than the control group (meanportions 3.1). The reduction in portion size was driven primarily by the male participants in the PTT (P = .003). We found no significant group differences in terms of percentage saturated fat intake, intentions, action planning, self-efficacy, or feedback on the intervention.
These findings support the use of Web-based tools and mobile technologies to change dietary behavior. The combination of a fully automated Web-based planning tool with mobile text reminders led to lower self-reported consumption of high-fat foods and greater reductions in portion sizes than in a control condition.
International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 61819220; http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN61819220 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/63YiSy6R8)