Smartphone app helps fight obesity - study

Comment on this story


phone food reut

REUTERS

An American study into 30 of the most popular diet apps found that most included few or no behavioural weight-loss strategies.

Paris - Using a simple smartphone application to photograph one's meals is a useful slimming aid for the overweight, according to an experiment reported on Sunday.

The app, designed by British doctors, aims at promoting “food memory” so that people recall what they have eaten and are encouraged not to snack on high-calorie treats.

The app has three parts:

- before eating food or drinking a beverage, the user snaps a picture of what is about to be consumed.

- after finishing the meal or drink, the user then looks at the picture that was taken, and answers questions about the consumption experience: “Did you finish it all?” and “How full are you now?”

- before further meals, users also look back at the file of pictures that have been taken in the course of the day, and get a text message urging them to remind themselves of what they have already eaten.

The researchers recruited 12 overweight or obese men and women and monitored them over four weeks in a small-scale pilot study. The volunteers accessed the app more than five times a day on average, and recorded 2.7 daily “episodes” of eating and drinking.

Over the study period, the participants lost 1.5 kilos on average.

Six lost a kilo or more and four lost between zero and one kilo, although the other two gained weight, by 100 and 400 grams respectively.

“Raising awareness of eating and weight loss achieved suggest this approach could be fruitful,” said University of Liverpool investigator Eric Robinson.

“Given that our trial was a very brief intervention with little contact time and no nutritional advice or support, this is a promising finding.”

The work was unveiled at the European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, northwest England. - Sapa-AFP

Hungry for more scitech news? Sign up for our daily newsletter


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks