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SO-NUTS protocol of the feasibility test
Background: The aging population faces two conditions that threaten healthy aging: high fat mass (obesity) and low muscle mass and function (sarcopenia). The combination of both –referred to as sarcopenic obesity– synergistically increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. The two conditions often co-occur as they reinforce each other and share common etiologies, mainly poor nutrition and inactivity.
Although all aging people are at risk of gaining weight and losing muscle mass, there is an even higher risk of becoming overweight and sarcopenic during the transition from working life to retirement, due to changes in poor nutritional intakes and lower physical activity levels. However, because of these rapid changes, retirement also offers a great window of opportunity to improve lifestyle, as older adults already need to restructure their daily activities. Furthermore, adopting a healthy lifestyle around the age of retirement offers sufficient time to prevent obesity, sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity and provides long-term benefits, including healthy ageing and prevention/delay of dependence in later life.
To stimulate weight loss/prevent weight gain while preserving muscle mass, it is critical that both physical activity and adequate nutrition be addressed. It is key to change behavior in a sustainable manner, providing scientifically proven, personalized, and acceptable principles that can be integrated in daily life. Health technologies (e.g. applications, wearables) can provide promising tools for delivering personalized and appealing lifestyle interventions to a large group of people while keeping health care costs low. At this moment, there is a lack of effective, sustainable interventions that focus on retirement as an important turning point to promote both nutrition and physical activity behavior.
We aim to provide essential insights required to develop innovative strategies for preventing obesity, sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity taking into account sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Based on these strategies and new knowledge, we will design the personalized, cross-country SO-NUTS application that helps empowering people around the phase of/after retirement to lose weight while preserving muscle mass and function.
At this moment we are in the phase to start testing the prototype of the SO-NUTS application in end users in a real life setting. Before further research and implementation of the SO-NUTS application can take place, a feasiblity study is required to test if the designed system works in an operational environment. We will test the technical aspects, feasibility and study procedures in a pilot study. This will provide input and information to further improve the SO-NUTS application and prepare a larger randomized controlled study.
To perform a pilot study to test the technical aspects, user experience, feasibility and potential impact of the SO-NUTS application in (non-patient) population. More specifically, we aim:
1) To test the technical aspects of the SO-NUTS application.
2) To evaluate the feasibility (acceptability, practicality, adaptation, and expansion) of the SO-NUTS application among healthy individuals around the time of retirement.
Evaluate a number of study procedures in preparation for a larger randomized controlled study.
The SO-NUTS project is funded by JPI HDHL, the funding agencies supporting this work are: the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), French national Research Agency (ANR), Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research represented by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (BMBWF represented by FFG), Spanish State Research Agency (AEI: PCI2020-120683-2), Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Department of Research and Development (MSMT). This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the ERA-NET Cofund action N° 727565.
- Urban Vitality