Do weight loss apps actually work?

A study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine on a popular weight-loss app finds that the answer is “not so much. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles put a free application called MyFitnessPal to scientific scrutiny. It is based on research on how people make changes in their habits. Smartphone applications for weight loss can be useful for people who are ready to control calories on their own.

However, for the average overweight primary care patient, the introduction of a smartphone application is unlikely to produce a significant weight change. If you have used a weight loss app, or feel inspired to do so, one of the first things you should do is go to the app store, scroll through some of the most popular ones, and, most likely, download the one that has the most downloads or that promises the most in terms of core features. The best weight-loss apps cover various needs, such as exercise and exercise routines, weight-loss plans and support, nutrition and macro counting, and meal planning. Researchers examined the results of 39 clinical trials that followed more than 8,000 overweight or obese adults to determine if the use of digital self-management tools helped them lose weight.

This may be because the app makes users set an explicit weight loss goal and subsequently increases awareness of whether they succeeded or not. Not surprisingly, primary care providers often skip talking about weight loss with obese patients and rarely spend adequate time on counseling (4,. We searched PubMed and couldn't find any other randomized controlled trials of a weight-loss app delivered in primary care. New research reveals that a combination of weight-loss medications and lifestyle changes can result in significant long-term weight loss.

Some previous studies have also linked digital self-management to more successful weight-loss efforts. Therefore, if you are one of those who is interested in using an application to help you lose weight, choosing one that suits your needs and tastes is even more important. The person who used the app the most (782 logins) and lost the most weight (29 pounds) belonged to the control group. Many of these apps aim to help people change behaviors to improve health, including weight loss, but very few have been rigorously evaluated.

For example, a previous study suggested that while apps may be useful for a certain type of vigilant dieter, the average overweight person probably won't lose weight with them. In the first of its kind, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that while health tracking apps can help those who want to lose weight, the apps don't produce results on their own.

Julia Matthews
Julia Matthews

Tv guru. Hardcore burrito aficionado. Internet guru. General zombie expert. Professional zombie buff. Hipster-friendly coffee practitioner.

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