University of Queensland, Australia
Title: The mindfulness app study for weight management, weight related behaviour, and stress in university students: A randomized controlled trial
Biography: Lynnette Lyzwinski
Background: University students are at risk gaining weight during their studies known as the Freshman 15. The prevailing literature has linked stress with engagement in maladaptive weight related behaviour in university students. Stress is highly prevalent in university students. Emerging research suggests that mindfulness may hold promise for assisting with stress as well as the adopting of healthy eating behaviour and weight management. One novel medium for delivering a weight loss intervention is through mobile health. Research suggests that mobile health interventions are effective for weight loss. Delivering a mindfulness-based intervention to students via a mobile medium may offer unique benefits including the possibility for students to learn mindfulness techniques at any time and place, something which is pertinent to them given their busy schedules.
Methods: A two arm randomized controlled trial will be conducted at the University of Queensland St Lucia and Herston campuses in students over the age of 18 years of age owning a smartphone who wish to lose weight. We will aim to recruit >50 and up to 115 participants. Students meeting eligibility criteria will be randomized to a mindfulness-based app or to a standard control group receiving an information leaflet on diet and physical activity guidelines. Changes assessed from baseline to follow-up at 3 months will be BMI, weight, dietary intake, physical activity, and stress. Feasibility and acceptability will also be assessed.
Discussion: This will be the first mobile mindfulness-based app trial in university students. If effective, this app intervention may hold potential for assisting students with managing key health issues pertinent to them.