Interventional - Lifestyle
Cardiovascular risk factors and obesity are highly prevalent in youth. Changing health behaviours is effective in reducing risk factors, but challenging to implement. One possible solution is an interactive smartphone app system for healthy behaviour change that is evidence-based and user-friendly.
Among youth aged 10-16 years and a parent, does randomization to the use of one of two Living Green and Healthy for Teens (LiGHT) apps over a 1 year period affect the proportion of youth with healthy active living behaviours, and healthy body size?
Using a single-centre randomized, parallel, controlled single-blind design, 250 eligible youth-parent dyads will be allocated 1:1 to receive one of two apps that provide information and tips on healthy eating and activity in different ways. They will be followed for 1 year. All families with at least one smartphone or tablet will be eligible. App usage will be monitored electronically. At the beginning, and 3 months and 6 months after starting, youth and parents will complete questionnaires (health, food intake, and activities including screen time) and body measurements, and youth will provide a urine sample and complete fitness tests and 1 week of accelerometry monitoring to quantify moderate and vigorous physical activity, sedentary time and sleep time. At 1 year participants will be asked to complete an online questionnaire.
For this project, we have teamed up with the Childhood Obesity Foundation, who have expertise in the development, evaluation and community-based implementation of behavioural interventions including electronic tools for obesity prevention in partnership with industry and government.
Many health apps are either not developed based on evidence or are not engaging for users, and very few are studied systematically for their effectiveness in improving health, especially among youth. Through this trial, we will learn whether a properly designed app can affect healthy behaviour change at a critical life stage, over a sustained period of time. If effective, wide dissemination on a population scale through simple electronic channels will facilitate improved cardiovascular risk profiles for any family with access to a smartphone.
Questions? Email email@example.comDownload LiGHT study recruitment poster (PDF)
Interventional - Lifestyle
RCT with an app
2019 - 2023
Zubin Punthakee is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine (endocrinology and metabolism) and Pediatrics, at McMaster University. His research interests are: clinical trials of diabetes management; association between obesity and insulin resistance/diabetes, especially in youth; health care delivery and outcomes during transition from pediatric to adult care; and long-term outcomes of pediatric endocrine diseases.
At PHRI, he has held leadership roles in the TIDE trial, ORIGINALE study and RICH LEGACY study. He has published more than 22 articles, been supported by Research Career Awards from Hamilton Health Sciences and the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, and holds research grants from agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Dipika Desai oversees many epidemiologic studies, including the South Asian birth cohort, START, the South Asian Heart Risk Assessment (SAHARA), and the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds (CAHHM), as well as management assistance and oversight in the utilization of samples from a number of other studies.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from the M S University in Baroda, India, and a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from the University of British Columbia.
Senior Research Coordinator
Jodi Miller has more than 15 years experience in academic research. She has been at PHRI since 2012 where she has coordinated large international industry and investigator initiated trials. In her current role she coordinates clinical trials and clinical quality assurance projects in stroke.
Jodi has a BSc in Physics from Mount Allison University and a PhD in Medical Biophysics with a focus on magnetic resonance imaging applications from Western University.
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