Mobile apps help with weight loss, study shows

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Time: Tools support from mobile apps can dramatically improve weight-management success, a new study shows.

That’s what the latest research on the subject published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine shows. Scientists worked with 70 overweight and obese adults enrolled in the Veterans Affairs weight-loss program, MOVE!, and randomly selected half of them to receive tech-based support tools in addition to MOVE!’s usual health-education class. Over three months to one year, people in the tech group lost 7 lbs more, on average, than people just attending classes – even though almost everyone in the study was computer-illiterate when the program began. People in the tech group were also almost four times as likely to have lost at least 5% of their body mass after six months, and twice as likely to have maintained a weight loss of that amount after one year.

But the secret to the new technology’s success, researchers say, are relatively low-tech and well-established principles of making weight-management convenient and ensuring that people feel accountable for their choices.

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