The impact of an mhealth-supported lifestyle intervention on dietary and physical activity outcomes among overweight and obese pregnant women: a randomised controlled trial

Type Article

Journal Article


K. Ainscough; M. Kennelly; K. Lindsay; E. Osullivan; E. Gibney; F. McAulife

Year of publication



Obesity facts







Background: Improving lifestyle behaviours among overweight and obese women could improve pregnancy outcomes. However, an efcient and effective intervention, suitable for translation into clinical care, is re‐quired. Our aim was to investigate the impact of a 'healthy lifestyle package,' including smartphone‐app support, among overweight and obese pregnant women, on glycaemic index (GI), glycaemic load (GL), diet quality as measured by the Alternate Healthy Eating Index modifed for Pregnancy (AHEI‐P), behavioural stage‐of‐change for physical activity (PA), and PA levels. Design: A randomised controlled trial of a mobile health technology (mHealth)‐supported behavioural lifestyle intervention among over‐weight and obese pregnant women. Women (n = 565) were randomised in early pregnancy (15.7 ± 2.3 weeks) to an intervention (n = 278) or control group (n = 287). The intervention was grounded in behaviour‐change theory and consisted of nutrition and exercise advice, supported by a smartphone app, and follow‐up email and in‐person contact from the research team. The control group received routine antenatal care, with no specifc dietary and exercise advice. At 16 and 28 weeks' gestation, dietary data using 3‐day food diaries, stage‐of‐change score for PA (1‐5; where a higher score is indicative of increased readiness to engage in exercise), and PA data were collected. Data collection methods were previously validated in pregnancy. Data were log transformed where not normally distributed. Data presented are for those who responded at 16 and 28 weeks, analysed by general linear models and χ2. Results: Tere were no diferences between groups at baseline. The effect of the intervention on diet and PA parameters, adjusting for baseline data, is shown in Table 1. Conclusion: A randomised controlled trial of a behavioural lifestyle in‐tervention, supported by a smartphone app, succeeded in improving maternal dietary intakes, diet quality, and PA behaviours. Tese fndings are signifcant for obstetric patients that may beneft from easily‐accessible lifestyle advice as part of routine care to improve diet and exercise. This highlights the potential for mHealth to aid interventions aiming to help women overcome barriers to lifestyle changes.