OBJECTIVE To examine adherence to, satisfaction with, and preliminary efficacy of mobile phone short message service (SMS) to promote health behaviors in school-aged children. METHODS A total of 49 children (aged 8-10 years) were randomized by school classes into a monitoring vs no-monitoring group. All children participated in 2 educational group sessions that focused on health behaviors: the advantages of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity, and decreasing screen time. The monitoring group also reported daily behavior using SMS and received supportive feedback for 8 weeks. RESULTS Children submitted 61% of the required SMS, which indicated good adherence to the intervention. A number of children (95%) reported being satisfied with the program. Analyses of covariance indicated increase in fruit and vegetable consumption (χ²  = 7.27; P < .05) and a decrease in screen time (χ²  = 6.79; P < .05). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The current SMS intervention was a useful tool to monitor and promote health behaviors in children.
Daniel B Fassnacht, Kathina Ali, Cátia Silva
Journal of nutrition education and behavior