Background

The prevalence of obesity among older adults is on the rise and, with an increase in the world population of adults 60 years and older, the demand for health interventions is growing. Limited research has observed mHealth weight loss interventions for older adults. The present research examines mHealth adherence of middle aged (35 to 54 years) and older adults (55 years and older) in a mobile weight loss intervention program called Noom.

Methods

Participants were 16,612 Noom users who received one of two curriculum programs: Healthy Weight (83%) or the CDC recognized Diabetes Prevention Program. T-tests and multiple linear regressions observed weight change and adherence at weeks 16, 24, and 52 weeks.

Results

In those who provided weights at 16 weeks (N=1,346), preliminary results show that older adults lost (mean ± SE) 1.2 ± 0.4 kg (95%CI 2.1, 0.3), p=0.008 more compared to younger adults. Older adults logged 26.6 ± 3.7 (95%CI 19.3, 33.9) and 36.2 ± 5.5 (95% 25.4, 47.1) more meals at 24 and 52 weeks, respectively (p<0.001) and weighed in 5.9± 0.68 (95%CI 4.6, 7.3) and 10.2 ± 1.0 (95%CI 8.2, 12.2) more at 24 and 52 weeks, respectively (p<0.001). In addition, older adults made 1.8 ± 0.7 more group posts at week 24 (95%CI 0.4, 3.2), p=0.003. Significance level set at p<0.0028 after Bonferroni correction. Adjusting for age, gender, and baseline BMI, total number of meals logged significantly predicted weight change at week 24 (β=-0.48, p<0.001, R2=0.24, p<0.001) and week 52 (β=-0.77, p=0.006, R2=0.34, p=0.047).

Conclusions

Older adults lost more weight and better adhered to an mHealth evidence-based weight loss intervention compared to younger adults. These preliminary findings suggest further clinical implications for adapting the program to older adult’s needs.