Phone App for Weight Loss
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It seems like there is an app for everything, and now people can even use an app to help them lose weight. A recent study showed that the new app, called My Meal Mate, monitored weight loss more effectively than both an online food diary and traditional paper journals, leading people with the smartphone app to lose more weight.
“Keeping a food diary allows us to see where we might be eating too much and the app has proved to be the most effective tracking method by far,” study leader Janet Cade, a Professor at the School of Food Science and Nutrition, was quoted as saying.
In the study, 128 participants who were overweight were assigned to use one of three different weight monitoring methods: the smartphone app My Meal Mate, a paper food journal, or an online food diary. Over the next six months, researchers measured the participants’ use of their weight monitoring method, their body, and their weight.
My Meal Mate, which gave people the ability monitor their food intake and exercise as well as set a weight loss target, was used most often by participants and resulted in the highest amount of weight loss compared to the two other food diary methods. On average, people only used the website and paper diary once a week, whereas the smartphone app was utilized every other day.
As far as actual weight loss is concerned, people using the online food diary lost the least amount of weight with an average of about 3 lbs. compared to 6.5 lbs. with the paper diary and 10 lbs. with the My Meal Mate.
Researchers hope this study will help to prove that smartphones can be used for more than just entertainment.
“Smartphone technology could be harnessed to promote health,” Professor Cade was quoted as saying.
Even better news is My Meal Mate is free and can be downloaded on the NHS Choices website. So anyone looking to drop a few pounds may want to look into the app; it will cost nothing and possibly amp up their weight loss.
SOURCE: Journal of Internet Medical Research, April 2013
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