Wearable Activity Tracking Device Use in an Adolescent Weight Management Clinic: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial

Kanika Bowen-Jallow, Omar Nunez-Lopez, Alex Wright, Erika Fuchs, Mollie Ahn, Elizabeth Lyons, Daniel Jupiter, Lindsey Berry, Oscar Suman, Ravi S. Radhakrishnan, Andrea M. Glaser, Deborah I. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. The use of physical activity tracker devices has increased within the general population. However, there is limited medical literature studying the efficacy of such devices in adolescents with obesity. In this study, we explored the feasibility of using wearable activity tracking devices as an adjunct intervention on adolescents with obesity. Methods. Randomized controlled pilot trial evaluated the feasibility (attrition ≤50%) of an activity tracking intervention (ATI) and its effects on weight loss in adolescents with obesity enrolled in an adolescent weight management clinic (AWMC). Outcomes included feasibility (attrition rate) and absolute change in BMI. Differences between groups at 6, 12, and 18 weeks were examined. Results. Forty-eight participants were enrolled in the study. Eighteen subjects were randomly assigned to the ATI group and 30 to control. The average age was 14.5 years. Overall, the majority of participants were Hispanic (56%). Sexes were equally distributed. The average baseline BMI was 37.5 kg/m2. At the study conclusion, the overall attrition rate was 52.1%, 44.4% in the ATI group versus 56.6% in the control group, with a differential attrition of 12.2%. The ATI and control groups each showed an absolute decrease in BMI of -0.25 and -2.77, respectively, with no significant differences between the groups. Conclusion. The attrition rate in our study was >50%. Participation in the AWMC by the ATI and control groups resulted in maintenance of BMI and body weight for the study duration. However, the use of an activity tracking device was not associated with greater weight loss. This trial is registered with NCT03004378.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7625034
JournalJournal of Obesity
StatePublished - Jan 8 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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