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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Using Smartphone-Based Support Groups to Promote Healthy Eating in Daily Life: A Randomised Trial
Author(s): Inauen, Jennifer
Bolger, Niall
Shrout, Patrick E
Stadler, Gertraud
Amrein, Melanie
Rackow, Pamela
Scholz, Urte
Keywords: eating behavior
fruit and vegetables
intensive longitudinal methods
social support groups
unhealthy snacks
Issue Date: 30-Nov-2017
Date Deposited: 10-Jan-2019
Citation: Inauen J, Bolger N, Shrout PE, Stadler G, Amrein M, Rackow P & Scholz U (2017) Using Smartphone-Based Support Groups to Promote Healthy Eating in Daily Life: A Randomised Trial. <i>Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being</i>, 9 (3), pp. 303-323.
Abstract: Background: Although many people intend to eat healthily, they often fail to do so. We report the first randomised trial testing whether smartphone-based support groups can enhance healthy eating. Methods: Adults (N = 203) were randomised to the support or control condition (information), and to one of two eating goals (increasing fruit and vegetable/decreasing unhealthy snack consumption). After baseline, participants received information on their assigned eating goal, and completed a 13-day electronic diary. During Days 4–10, support participants were asked to support each other in achieving their eating goal in smartphone-based groups. The primary outcome was daily servings of fruit/vegetables or unhealthy snacks. Maintenance of intervention effects was assessed on Days 11–13, and at 1-month and 2-month follow-ups. Results: Support participants showed a gradual increase in healthy eating over time, and ate 1.4 fruits and vegetables more, 95% CI [0.3, 2.6], or 0.8 unhealthy snacks less, 95% CI [−1.4, −0.2] than controls on Day 10. Most effects were not maintained at follow-ups. Conclusions: Smartphone-based groups can promote fruit and vegetable consumption and decrease unhealthy snack intake. This study extends previous findings of the benefits of support groups, and sheds light on the temporal dynamics of behavior change.
DOI Link: 10.1111/aphw.12093
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Inauen, J. , Bolger, N. , Shrout, P. E., Stadler, G. , Amrein, M. , Rackow, P. and Scholz, U. (2017), Using Smartphone‐Based Support Groups to Promote Healthy Eating in Daily Life: A Randomised Trial. Appl Psychol Health Well‐Being, 9: 303-323, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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