Nutritious eating

FUNDING SOURCE: National Institutes Health, National Cancer Institute (2014-2017)



Increasing dietary self-monitoring and weight loss in a mHealth intervention Abstract/Project Summary Overweight plays a role in both cancer incidence and survival. Finding low-cost and innovative ways to reach overweight adults to help them lose weight and decrease cancer risk, however, has been difficult. Many people find face-to-face weight loss interventions to be time consuming and inconvenient. Providing weight loss information via podcasting allows for participants to receive weight loss tips anywhere. Podcasts are audio files that may be downloaded and transferred to portable audio players (MP3 players or smartphones). Our previous podcasting weight loss intervention proved to be a successful way to help overweight men and women achieve modest weight loss over a 3 to 6-month period. One of the keys to successful weight loss is regular dietary self-monitoring (recording caloric intake of every food/drink consumed). This can be burdensome. Our team has developed a mobile watch-like device which assesses bites and provides feedback on caloric intake to users (called the Bite Counter). The goal of this project was to test the effectiveness of a behavioral weight loss intervention delivered via podcasting with participants randomized to self-monitor diet with the Bite Counter or with a standard diet mobile app. Mobile health (mHealth technologies hold promise as a way not only to deliver the behavioral content of a low-cost and scalable weight loss intervention but also to provide innovative ways for participants to self-monitor behavior and receive in-the-moment feedback.  The findings of this study found that weight loss was significantly correlated with number of podcasts downloaded and number of days diet was tracked. While frequency of diet tracking was similar between the App and Bite groups, there was greater weight loss observed in the App group.


Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Yang, CH., Monroe, C. et al. (20210. Is Burden Always Bad? Emerging Low-Burden Approaches to Mobile Dietary Self-monitoring and the Role Burden Plays with Engagement. J. technol. behav. sci. 6, 447–455.
DOI: 10.1007/s41347-021-00203-9

Turner-McGrievy, G. M., Crimarco, A., Wilcox, S., Boutté, A. K., Hutto, B. E., Muth, E. R., & Hoover, A. (2020). The role of self-efficacy and information processing in weight loss during an mHealth behavioral intervention. Digital health, 6, 2055207620976755.
DOI: 10.1177/2055207620976755

Turner-McGrievy, G. M., Dunn, C. G., Wilcox, S., Boutté, A. K., Hutto, B., Hoover, A., & Muth, E. (2019). Defining Adherence to Mobile Dietary Self-Monitoring and Assessing Tracking Over Time: Tracking at Least Two Eating Occasions per Day Is Best Marker of Adherence within Two Different Mobile Health Randomized Weight Loss Interventions. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 119(9), 1516–1524.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2019.03.012

Dunn, C. G., Turner-McGrievy, G. M., Wilcox, S., & Hutto, B. (2019). Dietary Self-Monitoring Through Calorie Tracking but Not Through a Digital Photography App Is Associated with Significant Weight Loss: The 2SMART Pilot Study-A 6-Month Randomized Trial. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 119(9), 1525–1532.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2019.03.013

Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Boutté, A., Crimarco, A., Wilcox, S., Hutto, B.E., Hoover, A., Muth, E.R. (in press). Byte by Bite: Use of a mobile Bite Counter and weekly behavioral challenges to promote weight loss. Smart Health. 3-4, 20-26.
DOI: 10.1016/j.smhl.2017.03.004

Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Hales, S.B., Schoffman, D.E., Valafar, H., Brazendale, K., Weaver, R.G., Beets, M.W., Wirth, M.D., Shivappa, N., Mandes, T., Hebert, J.R., Wilcox, S., Hester, A., McGrievy, M.J. (2017). Choosing between responsive-design websites versus mobile apps for your mobile behavioral intervention: Presenting four case studies. Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy and Research, 7(2), 224-232.
PMID: 27812798 PMCID: PMC5526804
DOI: 10.1007/s13142-016-0448-y

Turner-McGrievy, G.M, Wilcox, S., Boutté A,. Hutto, B.E., Singletary, C., Muth, E.R., Hoover, A.W. (2017). The Dietary Intervention to Enhance Tracking with mobile (DIET Mobile) study: A 6-month randomized weight loss trial. Obesity, 25(8), 1336-1342.
PMID: 28600833 PMCID: PMC5529231
DOI: 10.1002/oby.21889

Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Wilcox, S., Kaczynski, A.T., Spruijt-Metz, D., Hutto, B.E., Muth, E.R., Hoover, A. (2016). Crowdsourcing for self-monitoring: Using the Traffic Light Diet and crowdsourcing to provide dietary feedback. SAGE Digital Health, 2: 1–7.
DOI: 10.1177/2055207616657212