Navigation Links
Your Smartphone Might Help You Lose Weight

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Using smartphones to coach people as they try to shed extra pounds may make a standard weight-loss program more effective, a new study suggests.

With the technology, patients can report their progress and receive coaching between visits to the clinic. This personalized attention appears to improve results, the researchers reported.

"Having patients record eating and activity on a mobile app that's monitored by a coach is a scalable, cost-effective way to boost the effectiveness of clinician-directed weight-loss treatment," said study author Bonnie Spring, a professor of preventive medicine and psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

"An app can give people feedback about how many calories they're eating, and help them make wise choices in the moment. Knowing that a coach is 'hovering' and watching the patient's behavior is a way of supportively holding the person accountable," she added.

Taking classes is an efficient way for patients to connect with peers while acquiring knowledge about nutrition, exercise and behavior change strategies, Spring added.

"Reconfiguring weight-loss treatment to systematically leverage clinician expertise, technology and peer support offers a practical and effective way to help the large number of people who need obesity treatment," she said.

The report was published online Dec. 10 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Spring's team randomly assigned 69 overweight and obese patients, average age about 58, to a standard weight-loss program or a weight-loss program with smartphone prompting, and followed the volunteers for a year. They were weighed at three, six, nine and 12 months.

At each weigh-in, patients who were coached using smartphones lost an average of 8.6 pounds more than those in the standard weight-loss program, the findings showed.

In addition, about one-third of those in the smartphone program lost at least 5 percent of their body weight when they were only three months into the program, while those in the other group lost nothing during that time period, the researchers found.

These benefits lasted for the entire year, the study authors added.

"Neither the app alone nor the group weight-loss classes was effective for the average patient. The combination of technology and health education was what worked best," Spring explained.

"This reminds us that few, if any, commercially available weight-loss apps have been tested in rigorous clinical trials, and that technology may work best when it's integrated into a care system that also provides accountability and support," Spring added.

Dr. Goutham Rao, the vice chair of family medicine at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill., and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial, agreed that the smartphone approach seems to work.

"Existing obesity treatments don't meet certain criteria that are necessary," he said. "Treatments have to be accessible and inexpensive, and have to be able to engage and re-engage patients over time. There are some promising developments on the horizon."

Weight-loss drugs aren't effective enough and aren't available to large numbers of people, Rao said, and weight-loss surgery is also out of financial reach for most people.

"This technology is something people use on a regular basis; they don't have to learn how to use it," he noted.

"The studies we have so far show really promising results," Rao said. "You can't be a passive participant in weight loss. Smartphone programs personalize the program," he pointed out.

"Within three to four years we will have inexpensive, accessible weight-loss technology that everybody can benefit from," Rao added.

Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine, noted that "not much weight loss happens at a clinical visit, of course, weight loss happens in between visits."

It makes sense to extend coaching and guidance between visits, Katz said. "That, in fact, has been shown before. Using telephones or the Internet to stay connected to patients between counseling sessions enhances weight loss and health improvement," he added.

"With cellphones all but ubiquitous, we have the technology to build continuous contact into weight-management programs," Katz said. "This study demonstrates the early benefits of doing so."

More information

For more on weight-loss programs, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

SOURCES: Bonnie Spring, Ph.D., professor, preventive medicine and psychiatry, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Goutham Rao, M.D., Goutham Rao, M.D., vice chair of family medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill.; Dec. 10, 2012, Archives of Internal Medicine, online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Quorn Foods Inc. Releases a Statement Regarding the Best Free Vegetarian Smartphone Apps for the Food Lovers Diet
2. Smartphone app helps mentally ill persons
3. Smartphones Linked to Sexual Activity in Teens: Study
4. Engineers improve blood testing technology with smartphone app, hand-held biosensor
5. Targeted Prostate Cancer Biopsies Might Improve Care: Study
6. Smoking Might Make Hangovers Worse
7. U.S. Kids Might Not Be Over-Medicated After All
8. Worm Therapy Might Help Ease Colitis, Monkey Study Shows
9. Flame Retardants in Furniture, Carpets Might Affect Kids Development
10. Month of Birth Might Help Determine MS Risk, Study Suggests
11. Meditation Might Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke in Blacks
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Your Smartphone Might Help You Lose Weight
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... American Family Care (AFC), the nation’s ... a holiday pop-up clinic located in Metro Atlanta’s North Point Mall. The clinic is ... different way. The location is scheduled to operate through Dec. 24. , Holiday Pop-Up ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CT (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Aided ... (WCHN) today announced an innovative study designed to yield insights into how to detect ... development of biomarkers for pancreatic cancer from small, non-coding RNA molecules (ncRNA), genetic material ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Cleveland University-Kansas City (CU-KC), in Overland Park, Kansas. Benson, a fifth-trimester ... University President Carl S. Cleveland III on October 16. , “Katie is very ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Healthy Aging Program have announced their endorsement of the Medical Fitness Network ... Fitness is proud to have the MFN as one of our endorsed organizations,” ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Warsaw, IN (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... in his office to help the community stress less this holiday season. During ... unnecessary additional stress in people's lives and the team at AlignLife want to help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEW DELHI , November 25, 2015 ... fear invoked due to repeated failure of IVF cycles. ... Rani Bhatia was totally dejected and had lost all hopes that ... the first Indian miracle child conceived after failure of ... to abroad (UK) before they decided to take one last ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... BOULDER, Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public ... a webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray ... OfficerDate:  , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 2015 Avery Biomedical Devices ... ist erfreut, die Berufung von Anders Jonzon, ... zu können.   ... Foto -   ... 1984-1986 war er Fellow des Cardiovascular Institute ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: