Using a Personal Digital Assistant for Self-Monitoring Influences Diet Quality in Comparison to a Standard Paper Record among Overweight/Obese Adults

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 04/2011; 111(4):583-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2011.01.009
Source: PubMed


Self-monitoring has traditionally been done using a paper record, which can be tedious and burdensome. A personal digital assistant (PDA) with dietary software can provide an alternative to a paper record. The study aimed to describe the differences in dietary changes at 6 months between participants randomly assigned to use a paper record or PDA for self-monitoring in a clinical trial of weight-loss treatment. Self-monitoring adherence and changes in weight and diet were assessed between 2006 and 2009. The sample (n=192) was 84% female and 78% white, with a mean age of 49 years and body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)) of 34.1. At baseline, the groups did not differ in energy intake, percent calories from fat, and number of servings of the examined food groups. At 6 months, both groups had significant reductions in weight, energy intake, and percent calories from total fat and saturated fatty acids (P<0.001); no between-group differences were found. Compared to the paper record group, the PDA group significantly increased consumption of fruit (P=0.02) and vegetables (P=0.04) and decreased consumption of refined grains (P=0.02). Interactions among self-monitoring and the two groups were found in relation to changes in percent calories from total fat (P=0.02), monounsaturated fatty acids (P=0.002), and trans-fatty acids (P=0.04). Frequent self-monitoring was significantly associated with total sugar (P=0.02) and added sugar (P=0.01) intake in both groups. Our findings suggest that use of a PDA for self-monitoring might improve self-awareness of behavior and dietary changes.

Download full-text


Available from: Mindi A Styn,
  • Source
    • "Previous research reported that self-monitoring practices are the most effective way to manage dietary intake. [1], [2], [3]. Burke gives the definition of self-monitoring from diet perspective as, " Self-monitoring is consists of dietary intake and physical activity so that individuals are aware of their current behaviour. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many mobile phone diet applications are available today, most of which are free for the user to download on their mobile phone. However, findings have reported that, the existing applications for diet management are not very effective for prolonged use. The statistics have also shown that the rate of obesity in Malaysia is increasing over time. Thus, strategies to design and develop a new mobile phone diet application must be developed. This paper reviews previous research to observe the implementation of diet management elements in existing mobile phone applications. The aim of this review is to improve current mobile phone diet application development efforts towards effective diet management in terms of prolonged usage by identifying the effective approaches from previous research. This paper not only includes a review of relevant journal papers but also a review of the various available online diet management systems. This approach is used to identify the current trends in the implementation of mobile phone diet applications. The main finding of this review is a conceptual model that consists of an important approach to the design of mobile applications for diet management developed so that users will use the application long-term. Additionally it is hoped that the conceptual model will prove helpful for health practitioners or mobile application developers in the development of an effective mobile diet application for successful long-term diet maintenance. Ideally, our approach will aid in overcoming obesity, which is a well-known disease in many countries today.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous interventions have shown promising results using theory-based podcasts to deliver a behavioral weight-loss intervention. The objective of our study was to examine whether a combination of podcasting, mobile support communication, and mobile diet monitoring can assist people in weight loss. In this 6-month, minimal contact intervention, overweight (n = 96, body mass index 32.6 kg/m(2)) adults were recruited through television advertisements and email listservs and randomly assigned to Podcast-only or Podcast+Mobile groups. Both groups received 2 podcasts per week for 3 months and 2 minipodcasts per week for months 3-6. In addition to the podcasts, the Podcast+Mobile group was also instructed to use a diet and physical activity monitoring application (app) on their mobile device and to interact with study counselors and other participants on Twitter. Weight loss did not differ by group at 6 months: mean -2.7% (SD 5.6%) Podcast+Mobile, n = 47; mean -2.7% (SD 5.1%) Podcast, n = 49; P = .98. Days/week of reported diet monitoring did not differ between Podcast+Mobile (mean 2.3, SD 1.9 days/week) and Podcast groups (mean 1.9, SD 1.7 days/week; P = .28) but method of monitoring did differ. Podcast+Mobile participants were 3.5 times more likely than the Podcast group to use an app to monitor diet (P = .01), whereas the majority of Podcast participants reported using the Web (14/41, 34%) or paper (12/41, 29%). There were more downloads per episode in the Podcast+Mobile group (1.4/person) than in the Podcast group (1.1/person; P < .001). The number of podcasts participants reported downloading over the 6-month period was significantly moderately correlated with weight loss in both the Podcast+Mobile (r = -.46, P = .001) and the Podcast (r = -.53, P < .001) groups. Podcast+Mobile participants felt more user control at 3 months (P = .02), but not at 6 months, and there was a trend (P = .06) toward greater elaboration among Podcast+Mobile participants. There were significant differences in reported source of social support between groups. More Podcast participants relied on friends (11/40, 28% vs 4/40, 10%; P = .045) whereas Podcast+Mobile participants relied on online sources (10/40, 25% vs 0/40; P = .001). Results confirm and extend previous findings showing a minimally intensive weight-loss intervention can be delivered via podcast, but prompting and mobile communication via Twitter and monitoring app without feedback did not enhance weight loss. NCT01139255; (Archived by WebCite at
    Journal of Medical Internet Research 10/2011; 13(4):e120. DOI:10.2196/jmir.1841 · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper reviews previous research that used ICT intervention for weight loss management to overcome obesity. The aim of this review is to identify ways that ICT contribute towards effective weight loss management and the opportunities that ICT can provide towards successful weight loss. This paper not only includes review of journal papers but also review of various available online weight loss management systems. Main finding from this review is, ICT's usage for weight loss management can be classified into: Diet Plan and Guideline, Online Community and Mobile Applications. In addition to this, ICT namely the Internet and mobile applications offer vast opportunities towards effective weight loss through self-monitoring which is a key success factor for weight loss.
    2012 International Conference on Computer & Information Science (ICCIS); 06/2012
Show more