Background

While pregnancy is associated with weight retention and increased visceral adipose tissue, the postpartum period can be a challenging time for self-care. The objective of this study was to measure engagement and weight in postpartum women participating in a behavior change mHealth intervention for weight management.

Methods

54 overweight or obese women, who gave birth within the 24 months prior to program start, participated in a mobile-delivered lifestyle intervention (app). Primary outcome was weight at 10 weeks and secondary outcomes were in-app engagement levels (meal, weight, exercise, and steps logging, educational content reading, and messaging their coach) and their association with weight change.

Results

At baseline, women were (mean ± SD) 32 ± 4.88 years, 46.31 ± 29.22 weeks postpartum, and BMI 34.13 ± 6.76 kg/m2. Weight loss and BMI were significantly lower from baseline every week and reached -4.77 ± 2.99 kg (95%CI -5.93, -3.61 kg) or -5.18 ± 3.14 % (95%CI -6.39 to -3.96%) and -1.80 ± 0.28 kg/m2, 95%CI -2.39 to -1.2 kg/m2, respectively at 10 weeks. Per week, participants logged 9.99 meals, 24.06 minutes of exercise and 22,517.61 steps, weighed in 3.40 times, read 14.14 articles, and sent their coach 1.8 messages. After adjusting for age and baseline BMI, frequency of meal logging predicted weight loss (Β -0.491, p=0.008, R2 adjusted=0.21).

Conclusions

Postpartum women lost significant weight, preliminarily benefiting from a mobile weight loss intervention. Reported physical activity was suboptimal, warranting interventions focused on increasing exercise recommendations to reduce visceral adipose tissue.