Postpartum Weight Retention: A Retrospective Data Analysis Measuring Weight Loss and Program Engagement with a Mobile Health Program

Tatiana Toro-Ramos, Martica Heaner, Qiuchen Yang, Laura DeLuca, Heather Behr, Kayla Reynolds, Youngin Kim, Andreas Michaelides
Journal of Women's Health 2021 January 21
Background: Mobile health (mHealth) technology can circumvent barriers to participation in weight loss programs faced by new mothers. The objective of this study was to assess weight change and program engagement in postpartum women ( n  = 130) participating in a 24-week behavior change mHealth weight-loss intervention. Materials and Methods: Participants were recruited through a program offered on a commercial mHealth application that provided evidence-based lifestyle interventions. To meet inclusion criteria, women had to be 18-45 years of age, and given birth within 2 years before the start of the study. Participants signed up for the Noom Healthy Weight program between January and March of 2019 and were offered the program free of charge. Linear mixed models were conducted; the primary outcome was weight change from baseline at 16 and 24 weeks. Secondary outcomes were program engagement and their relationship with completion status. Results: Results showed that time was a significant predictor of weight at week 16 [ t (-3.94) = -9.40; p  < 0.001] and week 24 [ t (-4.08) = -9.74; p  < 0.001]; users lost 3.94 kgs at week 16 and 4.08 kgs at week 24, compared with baseline. In addition, body mass index significantly decreased at week 24 [ t (112) = 7.33, p  < 0.0001] with the majority of participants (80%) experiencing reductions by more than 2 units. On average, subjects who completed the program (completers) lost more weight compared with those who did not complete the program [ t (-5.09) = -2.94; p  = 0.004], losing 5.09 kgs (95% CI -8.48 to -1.69) throughout the 24 weeks. Conclusion: This cohort study shows that a uniquely mobile, behavior change intervention for weight management is effective at producing significant weight loss with potential to address postpartum weight retention.

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