Background

Modest weight reduction following weight control intervention leads to improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQL). However, few studies have examined this phenomenon in overweight (vs. obese) individuals or with mobile health interventions. We examined whether a text messaging weight control intervention predicted improved HRQOL in emerging adults with overweight. We also evaluated whether adding a sleep intervention component predicted greater HRQOL gains.

Methods

Forty-four emerging adults (aged 17-20 years) with overweight (BMI ≥ 2530) were randomly assigned to one of two six month treatments: 1) a text message diet and physical activity intervention or 2) a text-message diet and physical activity plus sleep intervention. HRQOL was measured using the Obesity-Related Well-Being Questionnaire at baseline, 3-months, and treatment completion, with higher scores indicating poorer HRQOL. A two-group growth curve analysis using Bayesian estimation was conducted to assess HRQOL change.

Results

HRQOL improved by 6 points in the diet and physical activity intervention group (b= -6.26, S.E = 1.84 P = 0.001, C.I: 9.84, -2.57) and by 8 points in the diet, physical activity, and sleep intervention group (b= -8.46, S.E = 2.16 P = 0.000, C.I: -12.68, -4.36). However, there was no statistically significant difference in the rate of change between the two groups.

Conclusions

A diet and physical activity intervention produced improved HRQOL over a period of 6-months. Intervening to improve sleep did not significantly improve this effect. Our findings suggest that text message weight control interventions may produce significant improvements in HRQOL and this construct may be an important outcome of weight control interventions, particularly when intervening with overweight vs. obese emerging adults.