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Dec 9, 2013

Enhancing Weight Loss Programs with Mobile Technology

Weight loss? There's an App for That!

There is little known surrounding the integration of technology with weight loss intervention. Noting this, The American Medical Association has recently implemented a study involving technology in a weight loss intervention to further the medical knowledge base surrounding it.

In this study participants were enrolled for a 12 month period in a weight loss program at the VA  outpatient clinic.  The two groups were assigned to a control group that received a weight loss intervention alone; and the second group received the intervention along with mobile technology additions. These included a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to log diet and physical activity and receiving bi-weekly coaching sessions over telephone. All participants’ weight were measured at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, along with a follow-up.

The group that did not receive the technology support lost an average of 8.6 pounds less than the intervention group that also received the technology support. This equals to a 5% weight loss difference between the two groups. Results suggest that the use of technology can improve weight loss outcomes. Further research is needed to strengthen the amount of evidence that supports this.

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