Improving Nutrition and Activity Behaviors Using Digital Technology and Tailored Feedback: Protocol for the LiveLighter Tailored Diet and Activity (ToDAy) Randomized Controlled Trial
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Background: Excess weight is a major risk factor for chronic diseases. In Australia, over 60% of adults are overweight or obese. The overconsumption of energy-dense nutrient-poor (EDNP) foods and low physical activity (PA) levels are key factors contributing to population obesity. New cost-effective approaches to improve population diet and PA behaviors are needed. Objective: This 1-year randomized controlled trial (6-month intervention and 6-month follow-up) aims to investigate whether a tailored intervention using mobile technology can improve diet and PA behaviors leading to weight loss in adults (aged 18-65 years) who are overweight or obese and recruited through a social marketing campaign (LiveLighter). Methods: All eligible participants will provide data on demographics and lifestyle behaviors online at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Using two-stage randomization, participants will be allocated into one of three conditions (n=200 per group): tailored feedback delivered via email at seven time points, informed by objective dietary (mobile food record app) and activity (wearable activity monitor) assessment; active control receiving no tailored feedback, but undergoing the same objective assessments as tailored feedback; and online control receiving no tailored feedback or objective assessments. Primary outcome measures at 6 and 12 months are changes in body mass, EDNP food and beverage consumption, and daily moderate-to-vigorous PA (measured via accelerometry). Secondary outcomes include change in fruit and vegetable consumption, daily sedentary behaviors, and cost effectiveness. Results: Enrolment commenced in August 2017. Primary outcomes at 12 months will be available for analysis from September 2019. Conclusions: Tailored email feedback provided to individuals may deliver a cost-effective strategy to overcome existing barriers to improving diet and PA. If found to be successful and cost effective, upscaling this intervention for inclusion in larger-scale interventions is highly feasible. Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12617000554369; https://www.anzctr.org.au /Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=371325&isReview=true. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/12782.
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