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Study: Your Smartphone Can Help You Lose Weight

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  December 10, 2012 08:30 PM

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Source:  AND
According to a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, individuals in a structured, weight loss program who also used mobile technology (in this study, a personal digital assistant), which helped them monitor their daily food intake, weight, and physical activity lost an average of 9 pounds more than those in the same program but without the high tech monitoring system.  In this study of about 70 obese individuals, those who used the mobile technology monitored their daily food intake, weight, and physical activity and had to transmit their daily progress to a health coach.  The health coach in turn called the individual with personalized, supportive advice every two weeks. 

According to Bonnie Spring, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study, the mobile technology device enabled subjects to check their daily calorie intake and physical activity on-the-spot, which allowed them to obtain feedback and adjust their behaviors instantaneously.  The mobile technology was even more important during the maintenance phase of the study.  Those who continued going to the program and using the mobile device maintained significant weight loss at 12 months (even though the coaching calls had stopped), compared to those attending the program but not using the mobile device.    

“While smartphone apps have replaced the mobile device used in this study, the technology is the same.  It allows for monitoring and accountability as part of a supportive program,” claims Spring.  This isn’t anything new for Sarah Kreiger, a registered dietitian (RD) in private practice and  Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Media Spokesperson.   She uses several apps,  such as MyFitness Pal, CalorieCounter, or Daily Burn, which are allfree, when she counsels her clients.  “My clients who use these apps, along with my personalized counseling and support, have more success meeting their weight loss goals than those who don’t use them.”    

Click here for of list of other free weight management apps reviewed by AND. Perhaps, your smartphone with some structured support may be a smart way to lose weight.

Have you used a mobile device to help manage your weight?  Please share below.  

Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake

Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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