This study found that the use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and ecological momentary intervention (EMI) led to a decrease in body checking behaviors and an increase in body satisfaction. The use of this technology also revealed that body checking behaviors increased through out the day, with the highest body checking behaviors taking place at night, even as overall behaviors decreased over the course of the study.
A five-day study was conducted with forty-four female undergraduates who reported engaging in frequent body checking behaviors with body mass index’s in the healthy range. Participants were assessed five times a day via their mobile device for five days, with cognitive behavioral interventions sent on days four and five. Additionally, a battery of pre-test and post-tests were given.
Since most body checking is performed in less than two minutes and often occurs without the individual’s awareness EMA methods significantly reduced body checking behaviors by bringing awareness to the behaviors themselves. EMI methods were not found to significantly reduce body checking behaviors. The authors of the study hypothesize that intervention methods may not have been significant due to interventions not being personalized to the individual, and the interventions requiring some practice before being successfully implemented. Future studies should investigate the impacts of personalized, practiced interventions on the reduction of body checking behaviors.