Carol Boushey’s nutrition study gets most cited award

June 24, 2019

The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity awarded, “The connecting health and technology study: a 6-month

Carol Boushey, PhD

randomized controlled trial to improve nutrition behaviors using a mobile food record and text messaging support in young adults”, by Carol Boushey, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center nutritionist and co-investigator of the study, as the most cited randomized controlled trial paper published in 2016. The lead author, Deb Kerr, at Curtin University in Australia, and Boushey worked closely together to incorporate technology into the study design.

The goal of the study was to improve dietary intakes of fruits and vegetables, and reduce intakes of “junk” foods and sugar-sweetened beverages among young adults (18-30 years old).

One group received weekly messages and a second group received fewer messages which were tailored to the participants’ diets by using the information from the images captured using the mobile food record app. Among the group with the tailored messages, the men reduced their intakes of “junk” food and the women reduced their intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. The group receiving weekly generic messages and the control group did not change their food group servings.

As with many populations around the world, people in Hawaiʻi are no exception with regard to eating too many low quality foods, such as sodas and chips. These excess calories contribute to being overweight and having an unhealthy distribution of body fat.

“We may be able to translate the findings from this study to develop tailored messages for individuals which may aid with following higher quality diets, which are associated with more healthful body weights,” said Boushey. “The idea of delivering messages in real-time is a next step to explore. We will need to determine ideal timing and number of messages to ensure long-term cooperation.”