Smart Health (Amst) 2017 Sep 26;3-4:20-26. Epub 2017 Apr 26.
Professor, Psychology, Clemson University, Clemson, SC USA.
The goal of this study was to examine the usability and feasibility of the mobile Bite Counter (a watch-like device that detects when a user consumes food or beverage) and the impact of weekly behavioral challenges on diet and physical activity outcomes. Overweight (mean BMI 31.1±4.9 kg/m) adults (n=12) were recruited to participate in a four-week study to test both the usability and feasibility of using the device as part of a behavioral weight loss intervention. Participants were instructed to self-monitor number of bites/day using the Bite Counter, attend weekly group sessions, and listen to weekly podcasts. Participants were given weekly challenges: use a daily bite limit goal (wk1), turn off Bite Counter when fruits/vegetables are consumed (wk2), self-monitor kilocalories vs. bites (wk3), and receive a 10 bites/day bonus for every 30 minutes of exercise (wk4). Participants lost a mean of -1.2±1.3 kg. Only the wk3 challenge produced significant differences in kcal change (wk3 1302±120 kcal/day vs. baseline 2042±302 kcal/d, <0.05). Bite Counter use was significantly correlated with weight loss (= -0.58, P<0.05). Future studies should examine the use of the Bite Counter and impact of behavioral challenges over a longer period of time in a controlled study.