Development and feasibility testing of a smart phone based attentive eating intervention

Eric Robinson, Suzanne Higgs, Amanda J Daley, Kate Jolly, Deborah Lycett, Amanda Lewis, Paul Aveyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Attentive eating means eating devoid of distraction and increasing awareness and memory for food being consumed. Encouraging individuals to eat more attentively could help reduce calorie intake, as a strong evidence base suggests that memory and awareness of food being consumed substantially influence energy intake.

METHODS: The development and feasibility testing of a smartphone based attentive eating intervention is reported. Informed by models of behavioral change, a smartphone application was developed. Feasibility was tested in twelve overweight and obese volunteers, sampled from university staff. Participants used the application during a four week trial and semi-structured interviews were conducted to assess acceptability and to identify barriers to usage. We also recorded adherence by downloading application usage data from participants' phones at the end of the trial.

RESULTS: Adherence data indicated that participants used the application regularly. Participants also felt the application was easy to use and lost weight during the trial. Thematic analysis indicated that participants felt that the application raised their awareness of what they were eating. Analysis also indicated barriers to using a smartphone application to change dietary behavior.

CONCLUSIONS: An attentive eating based intervention using smartphone technology is feasible and testing of its effectiveness for dietary change and weight loss is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adult
  • Cell Phones
  • Energy Intake
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Reduction Programs


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