Mobile Fitness Apps Boosts Weight Loss Results April 23, 2013
Mobile Fitness Apps Boosts Weight Loss Results April 23, 2013

According to a report from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, people who used a mobile fitness app to track their workouts and calories lost an average of 15lbs and kept it off for at least a year. This is the first study that has shown the effect of using technology to aid in a weight loss program.

The study followed 69 overweight adults with an average age of 58 for one year. They all received weekly calorie goals as well as access to education classes on nutrition, exercise and behavior change. The group was divided into participants who recorded their eating and activity on paper and those who used a mobile device to record and send their data to a behavioral coach.

The group using technology were found to attend over 80% of the education sessions, lost 15lbs and kept it off for a year. The control group who did not track using a mobile app did not lose weight.

“The app is important because it helps people regulate their behavior, which is really hard to do,” said lead investigator Bonnie Spring, Ph.D., a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Most of us have no idea how many calories we consume and how much physical activity we get. The app gives you feedback on this and helps you make smart decisions in the moment.”

It’s important to note that while using the app aided in weight loss, it alone was not the only reason for the results.

“The ‘widget’ is critical but it is not magical by itself,” Spring added. “People need all the tools at their disposal.”

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