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Low-income and minority children are at increased risk for obesity. Text messaging offers advantages for delivering education, but few studies have assessed the acceptability of text messaging in interventions aimed at preventing excessive weight gain in infants. This study investigated the acceptability of a text message-based intervention for prevention of excessive weight gain in infants from Hawai‘i and Puerto Rico WIC clinics.
The four-month text message based intervention designed to improve infant feeding practices and reduce excessive weight gain was a randomized controlled trial that included mothers with infants ages 0–2 months at baseline. Participants in the intervention arm received 18 text messages (1/week) promoting breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding. Acceptability of the intervention was assessed from participant retention, satisfaction, and evidence of behavior change in a sequential multimethod approach, quantitatively from questions sent via text and qualitatively during the in-person exit interview. The final analysis included 80 mother-infant pairs from the intervention arm.
When asked about messages liked and disliked the most, the majority of responses via text indicated that they liked all messages. From the qualitative analyses, most participants reported that all messages were useful and that the messages led them to make changes in the way they fed their infants. Participant retention was good at 78.4%.
The intervention was acceptable to participants based upon participant retention, measures of satisfaction, and reports of behavior change. Results may inform development of mobile health programs for minority childhood obesity prevention.
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Gibby, Cheryl L.K.; Palacios, Cristina; Campos, Maribel; Graulau, Rafael E.; and Banna, Jinan, "Acceptability of a text message-based intervention for obesity prevention in infants from Hawai‘i and Puerto Rico WIC" (2019). Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. 54.
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