mHealth-Supported Gender- and Culturally Sensitive Weight Loss Intervention for Hispanic Men With Overweight and Obesity: Single-Arm Pilot Study

David O. Garcia, Luis A. Valdez, Benjamin Aceves, Melanie L. Bell, Brooke A. Rabe, Edgar A. Villavicencio, David G. Marrero, Forest Melton, Steven P. Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Hispanic men have disproportionate rates of overweight and obesity compared with other racial and ethnic subpopulations. However, few weight loss interventions have been developed specifically for this high-risk group. Furthermore, the use of mobile health (mHealth) technologies to support lifestyle behavior changes in weight loss interventions for Hispanic men is largely untested. Objective: This single-arm pilot study examined the feasibility and acceptability of integrating mHealth technology into a 12-week gender- and culturally sensitive weight loss intervention (GCSWLI) for Hispanic men with overweight and obesity. Methods: A total of 18 Hispanic men (mean age 38, SD 10.9 years; mean BMI 34.3, SD 5.5 kg/m2; 10/18, 56% Spanish monolingual) received a GCSWLI, including weekly in-person individual sessions, a daily calorie goal, and prescription of ≥225 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. mHealth technology support included tailored SMS text messaging, behavior self-monitoring support using Fitbit Charge 2, and weight tracking using a Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Changes in weight from baseline to 12 weeks were estimated using a paired 2-tailed t test. Descriptive analyses characterized the use of Fitbit and smart scales. Semistructured interviews were conducted immediately after intervention to assess the participants’ weight loss experiences and perspectives on mHealth technologies. Results: Of 18 participants, 16 (89%) completed the 12-week assessments; the overall attrition rate was 11.1%. The mean weight loss at week 12 was −4.7 kg (95% CI 7.1 to −2.4 kg; P<.001). Participants wore the Fitbit 71.58% (962/1344) of the intervention days and logged their body weight using the smart scale (410/1344, 30.51% of the intervention days). Participants identified barriers to the use of the technology, such as lack of technological literacy and unreliable internet access for the smart scale. Conclusions: Although clinically significant weight loss was achieved by integrating mHealth technology into the GCSWLI, adherence to the prescribed use of technology was modest. Addressing barriers to the use of such technologies identified in our work may help to refine an mHealth intervention approach for Hispanic men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere37637
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Background
  • Hispanic
  • mHealth
  • mobile health
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics


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