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The KENPO-app for specific health guidance is feasible and effective in inducing significant weight loss in Japanese adults with obesity and hypertension.

Numerous smartphone apps are available for self-monitoring weight loss. Currently, no mobile applications provide specific health guidance (SHG) for preventing metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. A randomized controlled pilot study in the journal JMIR mHealth and uHealth assessed the efficacy of an SHG-specific mobile health app named KENPO-app in facilitating weight loss among Japanese adults with obesity and hypertension.

Study Characteristics

In this study, 78 participants were enrolled, and 55% were male. The mean age was 52 years. Participants were equally assigned to the KENPO-app (intervention) and the active control groups. There were no significant differences in age, gender ratio, body mass index (BMI), or systolic blood pressure between the groups. The trial retention rate was 95% (74 out of 78 participants). 

The adherence to daily self-weighing, wearing the pedometer, daily steps, and blood pressure monitoring was significantly higher in the KENPO-app group than in the active control group. The health checkup data concerns among the KENPO-app group participants were hyperglycemia (27%), hypertriglyceridemia (57%), and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (24%).

KENPO-App Led to Significant Weight Loss

The KENPO-app’s use brought about significant weight loss in the study. At the 12-week follow-up, the mean weight changes were -2.0 kg in the intervention group vs. -0.8 kg in the active control group. At three months, the intervention group’s median body weight and BMI were significantly lower compared to the active control group.

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Personality Traits Influence Weight Loss in KENPO-App Users

The degree of weight loss in the KENPO app group was affected by personality traits. Compared with “challenger”, characterized as being a fact-based extrovert,  “walker”, characterized as being a fact-based introvert, had significantly greater weight loss. However, there was no difference in weight loss among “challenger,” “communicator,” characterized as being a relationship introvert and optimist, and “entertainer,” characterized as being a relationship introvert with gratitude and connection.

No Significant Difference in Systolic Blood Pressure Change

The decrease in systolic blood pressure in the intervention group vs. the control group was not significantly different. No changes in the diastolic blood pressure were observed in the intervention group.

Intervention Group Showed Improved Health Behaviors

After the 12-week study period, the percentage of participants reporting ≥8,000 daily steps, slow eating speed, vegetable intake before rice, healthy menu selection, and relaxation increased in the intervention group. Meanwhile, the percentage of people eating breakfast and reducing snacks increased in the active control group. The intervention group also had a higher rate of achieving ≥8,000 daily steps based on the pedometer compared to the control group.  

Source

Sakane, N., Suganuma, A., Domichi, M., Sukino, S., Abe, K., Fujisaki, A., Kanazawa, A., & Sugimoto, M. (2023). The Effect of a mHealth App (KENPO-app) for Specific Health Guidance on Weight Changes in Adults With Obesity and Hypertension: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Jmir Mhealth and Uhealth, 11, e43236. https://doi.org/10.2196/43236