TEXT Message Behavioural Intervention for Teens on Eating, physical activity and Social wellbeing (TEXTBITES)

This study looks at whether a text message healthy lifestyle program with optional health counselling will help young people improve their health and wellbeing, and weight outcomes.

The text message program is based on national guidelines for healthy eating, physical activity and wellbeing. We aim to test whether receiving the text message program with optional health counselling is better at reducing weight and improving health and wellbeing. Finding this out is important so we can provide programs to help create healthy life-long habits in young people and prevent chronic diseases. 

About 150 participants are expected to take part in the TEXBITES study. The study has been funded by the Westmead Applied Research Centre at The University of Sydney. As well as by the National Health and Medical Research Council via people support. It will take place at Westmead Hospital.

Ethics committee approval number: Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network HREC/18/SCHN/374


Inclusion criteria: 

  • 13 to 18 years inclusive; 
  • Overweight (as defined by the International Obesity Task Force as equivalent to adult BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m2);
  • Own an operational mobile phone, capable of sending and receiving text-messages;
  • Provide written informed consent.

Exclusion criteria: 

  • Diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes; 
  • Medical condition or psychiatric illness that would not allow the participant to give informed consent and/or would preclude the participant’s ability to comply with the study protocol
  • History of disordered eating including being diagnosed with, or treated for Anorexia, Nervosa or Anorexia Athletica, Binge Eating Disorder or Bulimia Nervosa;
  • Pregnancy, or planning to become pregnant within the next 12 months;
  • On weight loss medications or any medications known to cause weight gain;
  • Enrolled in an alternative randomised weight management program;
  • Already participating in a text message-based study;
  • Inability of the participant to speak English.

How to participate

If you are interested in assisting with this important and exciting area of research, please contact