Feasibility study of a newly developed technology-mediated lifestyle intervention for overweight and obese young adults

Habiba I. Ali, Amita Attlee, Salma Alhebshi, Fadima Elmi, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri, Lily Stojanovska, Najoua El Mesmoudi, Carine Platat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are common among young adults and increase the risk for chronic diseases later in life. Due to the widespread use of information technology among young adults, the Rashakaty (Fitness for Me) study aimed to develop and test the feasibility of a technology-based nutrition education intervention. This would support overweight and obese university students to achieve weight loss, enhance nutrition knowledge, and increase physical activity levels. Methods: We enrolled 246 participants in a 16-week non-randomized feasibility study with two arms: Rashakaty-Basic and Rashakaty-Enhanced. The intervention was guided by social cognitive theory and was delivered via a website and mobile apps. Results: Among the 161 participants who completed the endline assessments, there was no significant difference in weight loss between the two arms. However, waist circumference decreased more (p = 0.003) in the Rashakaty-Enhanced group. Additionally, changes in knowledge related to sources of nutrients (p < 0.001) and diet–disease relationships (p = 0.006) were significantly higher among the Rashakaty-Enhanced group. Rashakaty-Enhanced participants reported increased number of days spent on moderate physical activity (p = 0.013) and minutes walked (p < 0.001). Moreover, they also reported higher scores in social support from friends to reduce fat intake (p = 0.006) and from family and friends to increase physical activity (p = 0.001). Conclusions: The results of this feasibility study can assist in the development and implementation of future technology–mediated health promotion programs in the UAE, especially for young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2547
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Feasibility study
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Mobile applications
  • Obe-sity
  • Technology-mediated
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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