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Development of tailored nutrition information messages based on the transtheoretical model for smartphone application of an obesity prevention and management program for elementary-school students.

  • Lee, Ji Eun1
  • Lee, Da Eun1
  • Kim, Kirang2
  • Shim, Jae Eun3
  • Sung, Eunju4
  • Kang, Jae-Heon5
  • Hwang, Ji-Yun1
  • 1 Department of Foodservice Management and Nutrition, Sangmyung University, 20 Hongjimun 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03016, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 2 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dankook University, Chungnam 31116, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 3 Department of Food and Nutrition, Daejeon University, Daejeon 34520, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 4 Department of Family Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 03181, Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 5 Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul 04551, Korea. , (North Korea)
Published Article
Nutrition research and practice
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2017
DOI: 10.4162/nrp.2017.11.3.247
PMID: 28584582


Easy access to intervention and support for certain behaviors is important for obesity prevention and management. The available technology such as smartphone applications can be used for intervention regarding healthy food choices for obesity prevention and management in elementary-school students. The transtheoretical model (TTM) is comprised of stages and processes of change and can be adopted to tailored education for behavioral change. This study aims to develop TTM-based nutrition contents for mobile applications intended to change eating behaviors related to weight gain in young children. A synthesized algorithm for tailored nutrition messages was developed according to the intake status of six food groups (vegetables, fruits, sugar-sweetened beverages, fast food and instant food, snacks, and late-night snacks), decision to make dietary behavioral changes, and self-confidence in dietary behavioral changes. The messages in this study were developed from December 2014 to April 2015. After the validity evaluation of the contents through expert consultation, tailored nutrition information messages and educational contents were developed based on the TTM. Based on the TTM, stages of subjects are determined by their current intake status, decision to make dietary behavioral changes, and self-confidence in dietary behavioral changes. Three versions of tailored nutrition messages at each TTM stage were developed so as to not send the same messages for three weeks at most, and visual materials such as figures and tables were developed to provide additional nutritional information. Finally, 3,276 tailored nutrition messages and 60 nutrition contents for applications were developed. Smartphone applications may be an innovative medium to deliver interventions for eating behavior changes directly to individuals with favorable cost-effectiveness. In addition, using the TTM for tailored nutrition education for healthy eating is an effective approach.

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