Development and Pilot Testing of My Plan, a Personalized mHealth Intervention for Adolescent Obesity

Dole Building

Obesity in adolescents is a significant public health concern that is exacerbated and maintained by a complex set of biological, psychological, environmental, and systemic contributors that vary by patient. Unfortunately, intensive lifestyle modification interventions targeting obesity-related health behaviors (e.g., eating, physical activity) have demonstrated limited effectiveness and reach, partially due to a “one-size-fits-all” approach that is time and resource-intensive. Mobile health technologies (mHealth) offer a promising solution to assess an adolescent patient’s “obesity phenotype” and deliver personalized evidence-based interventions that target health behaviors. Moreover, mHealth leverages the ubiquity and proficiency of smartphone use among adolescents to tailor the timing and context of intervention delivery.

The two objectives of the proposed inter-institutional, collaborative pilot and feasibility project are to (1) design and refine a modular mHealth lifestyle modification intervention – My Plan – utilizing the NIH-supported PiLR Health and (2) conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial to determine feasibility and acceptability of My Plan compared to an mHealth control condition that delivers a non-personalized, fixed set of content. The proposed project will utilize CU NORC and KC CHLN resources to rigorously investigate obesity-related outcomes, including health behaviors, anthropometrics, and metabolic complications, to serve as preliminary data for a future, fully-powered efficacy trial.

Project details

  • Primary Investigator: Christopher Cushing

  • Project start Date: 01/01/2021

  • Project finish Date: 01/01/2023



  • Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles and Development and University of Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center