Obesity is an area of major public concern as this condition is not limited only to weight gain but it can lead to complications of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
The need of the hour is to develop a program that is effective in terms of delivering required results and also be low on cost. And technology plays a vital role in this.
Based on the fast paced lives and influence of social media in today’s world, smart phone applications are being designed to provide an easily accessible and tailor made approach towards weight loss.
A study was conducted in U.K. to determine whether smart phone apps serve as an engaging weight management program.
What happened in the study?
128 overweight individuals participated in the study and they were randomly divided into groups based on different weight management interventions: smart phone application group, website group and paper diary group.
The smart phone application used in the trial was My Meal Mate. This app assisted the volunteers in setting goals, monitoring diet and activity and also provided feedback in terms of weekly text messages.
The website group made use of Weight Loss Resources, a commercial website aimed at weight loss and management.
The study lasted for 6 months. Personal meetings were carried at during follow up sessions conducted at the end of 6 weeks and 6 months to measure progress. Read original study here>
What was the outcome?
Percentage of people who continued following the group was 93% for smartphone group, 55% for website group and 53% for paper diaries.
The smart phone app was rated highly for satisfaction and acceptability.
Why did this occur?
Smart phone apps for weight loss make self monitoring convenient. These apps are beneficial to people who would want to avoid face to face meetings.
Also these applications reach a greater population than primary care facilities and hence it serves as a cost effective strategy.
Smart phone apps provide up to date tracking of physical activity and diet which is easily accessible from any location. These features are limited or perhaps even missing in website and paper diary interventions, thus making smart phone apps popular.
What does this mean?
According to the study, smart phone applications for weight loss can serve as an innovative intervention. They are acceptable and feasible to use by general population.
Significant weight loss outcomes can be achieved with smart phone apps.
So when given a choice between different technological and social media interventions, it would be wise to chose smart phone apps.
The applications make weight loss programs easier with facilities and tips available at your fingertips and up to date monitoring from any location.
This saves you from hassles of personal interaction and expenses of health care visits. Go ahead and make your pick from the different on-the-go weight loss apps.