Addressing people and place microenvironments in weight loss disparities (APP-Me): Design of a randomized controlled trial testing timely messages for weight loss behavior in low income Black and White Women

Daniel O. Clark, Preethi Srinivas, Kunal Bodke, Ni Cole Keith, Sula Hood, Wanzhu Tu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: Behavioral interventions for weight loss have been less effective in lower income and black women. These poorer outcomes may in part be related to these women having more frequent exposures to social and physical situations that are obesogenic, i.e., eating and sedentary cues or situations. Objectives: Working with obese, lower income Black and White Women, Addressing People and Place Microenvironments (APP-Me) was designed to create awareness of self-behavior at times and places of frequent eating and sedentary behavior. Design: APP-Me is being evaluated in a randomized controlled trial with 240 participants recruited from federally qualified health centers located in a single Midwestern city. All participants complete four weeks of ecological momentary assessments (EMA) of situations and behavior. At the end of the four weeks, participants are randomized to enhanced usual care (UC) or UC plus APP-Me. Methods: APP-Me is an automated short messaging system (SMS). Messages are text, image, audio, or a combination, and are delivered to participants' mobile devices with the intent of creating awareness at the times and places of frequent eating or sedentary behavior. The EMA data inform the timing of message deliveries. This project aims to create and test timely awareness messages in a subpopulation that has not responded well to traditional behavioral interventions for weight loss. Novel aspects of the study include the involvement of a low income population, the use of data on time and place of obesogenic behavior, and message delivery time tailored to an individual's behavioral patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - Apr 2018



  • Health disparities
  • Mobile health
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • User-centered design
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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