Texting Healthy Eating Tips: A Single-Case Participatory Intervention Study with Mexican Undergraduates
Kaufmann, Nicholas T
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Increasing attention has been paid to the potential of mobile-based text-messaging interventions as a behavior change strategy to prevent long-term overweight, obesity and obesity-related risks. In this study, a culture-specific text-messaging intervention, focused on promoting healthy eating behaviors, was developed, implemented and evaluated with undergraduate students in Mexico. Guided by the Participatory Intervention Model (Nastasi et al., 2000), mixed-methods research was undertaken consisting of a survey (n = 239), a participatory text-message design session (n = 20) and a pilot intervention study (n = 16). Results confirmed a high prevalence of overweight and obesity, as well as unhealthy eating behaviors, within the sample. Using a single-case experimental design, the effects of student-designed text-messages were evaluated through the implementation of a packaged and a tailored intervention targeting apparently healthy individuals. The study found that both these interventions had a positive influence over time on some participants’ outcome behaviors, in particular a reduced intake of fast food and an increased consumption of water. Results were discussed in light of current evidence on the effectiveness of mobile health interventions designed to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity, as well as obesity-related risks among college students.
SubjectHealthy Eating Behaviors, Text-Messaging Interventions, Single-Case Experimental Study, College Students