Fruit and vegetable intake and eating behaviors mediate the effect of a randomized text-message based weight loss program

Gregory J. Norman, Julia K. Kolodziejczyk, Marc Adams, Kevin Patrick, Simon J. Marshall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    48 Scopus citations


    Introduction: We hypothesized that fruit/vegetable intake and eating behaviors mediate the relationship between experimental condition and weight loss in a randomized trial evaluating a text-message based weight loss program. Methods: Overweight/obese individuals from San Diego, CA (N=52 with complete data) were randomly assigned in 2007 into one of two groups for four months: 1) the intervention group that received 2-5 weight management text-messages p/day; 2) the usual-care comparison group. Three 24-hour recalls assessed fruit/vegetable intake change and the eating behavior inventory (EBI) measured change in eating behaviors. Regression path models tested intervention mediation. Results: Direct effects of the intervention were found for change in body weight (b=-3.84, R2=0.074), fruit/vegetable intake (b=2.00, R2=0.083), and EBI scores (b=7.15, R2=0.229) (ps<0.05). The treatment group to weight change path was not statistically significant (b=-0.673, R2=0.208) when fruit/vegetable intake change and EBI score change were specified as intervention mediators in the model. The total indirect effect was 3.17lb indicating that the indirect paths explained 82.6% of the total effect on weight change. Discussion: Fruit/vegetable intake and eating behaviors mediated the intervention's effect on weight change. The findings suggest that sending text-messages that promote healthy eating strategies resulted in moderate short-term weight loss.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3-7
    Number of pages5
    JournalPreventive Medicine
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2013


    • Diet
    • Health behavior
    • Mediator
    • Mobile phone
    • Obesity
    • SMS

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Epidemiology
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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