Health news
Health news top Health news

   Login  |  Register    
Health News Make AMN Your Home PageDiscussion BoardsAdvanced Search ToolMedical RSS/XML News FeedHealth news
  You are here : Health.am > Health Centers > Obesity - Weight Loss -
Smartphone way to lose weight Smartphone way to lose weight

Smartphone way to lose weight

Obesity • • Weight LossApr 16, 2013

Their study is the first to evaluate a smartphone app as the sole method for monitoring weight loss, with researchers creating My Meal Mate to trial against similar products for monitoring food intake, an online food diary and the traditional paper version.

The My Meal Mate app allows users to monitor their food intake and exercise, set a weight loss target and sends a weekly update on progress via text message. The smartphone app was used on average every other day in the trial, whilst the average use of the website and paper diary was about once a week. As a result, over the 6 months of the study those using the app lost on average 4.6kg (10lbs), compared with the 2.9kg (6.5lbs) and 1.3kg (3lbs) lost by the paper-based and online diary users, respectively.

The results of the pilot trial have been published in the Journal of Internet Medical Research.

The Department of Health has calculated the direct costs of obesity on the NHS to be £5.1bn a year and an estimated 40,000 people die annually from conditions attributable to being overweight or obese.

"Smartphone technology could be harnessed to promote health; generally people don’t know how many calories they are eating daily. My Meal Mate really helped people monitor their food intake and resulted in an important amount of weight loss,” said Professor Janet Cade, from the School of Food Science and Nutrition, who lead the project.

“The labelling on food packaging can help people to identify sensible food choices but it doesn’t enable them to understand the cumulative effects of the foods they eat. 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,” added Professor Cade.

Unlike other currently available smartphone apps that are aimed at helping people monitor food intake and lose weight, My Meal Mate is the first free app to contain a large UK-based food database. This allows users to map their eating habits easily to the products they consume. It is also the first such app to be hosted for download on the NHS Choices website.

The pilot trial consisted of 128 overweight volunteers, split into three groups with each group using a different monitoring method. Their use of each method and their weight and other body measurements were monitored over six months.

“Whilst we wouldn’t expect people to use My Meal Mate daily for the rest of their lives, it gives them the skills and education to monitor their diet themselves – to have a better understanding of portion sizes, nutritional content and the effect of exercise,” said Michelle Carter, the lead author on the paper, who conducted the study as part of her PhD at the University of Leeds.

It is now available to download for Android smartphones from the NHS Choices website and from the Google Play Store.

###

The research was funded by a National Prevention Research Initiative grant, which is administered by the Medical Research Council. The app was developed by software company Blueberry Consultants.

For more information

Professor Janet Cade and Michelle Carter are available for interview.

Please contact Richard Mellor, Communications, University of Leeds
T: +44 (0)113 3434031
E:

The research paper was published on 15 April 2013 in the Journal of Internet Medical Research. Carter MC, Burley VJ, Nykjaer C, Cade JE. My Meal Mate Smartphone Application for Weight Loss: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res 2013;15(2):e32. (DOI: 10.2196/jmir.2283)

Notes to Editors

1. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK’s eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University’s vision is to secure a place among the world’s top 50 by 2015.

###

Richard Mellor
r.d.mellor@leeds.ac.uk
44-011-334-34031
University of Leeds

Provided by ArmMed Media

Smartphone way to lose weight Bookmark this! Smartphone way to lose weight

RELATED STORIES:


 Comments [ + Post Your Own

Now you're in the public comment zone. What follows is not Armenian Medical Network's stuff; it comes from other people and we don't vouch for it. A reminder: By using this Web site you agree to accept our Terms of Service. Click here to read the Rules of Engagement.

There are no comments for this entry yet. [ + Comment here + ]




We are pleased to let readers post comments about an article. Please increase the credibility of your post by including your full name and email.

All comments are reviewed by our editors before they are posted on the site. Just keep it clean, kids.

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


   [advanced search]   
What health info have you recently searched for online?
Disease or condition
Exercise or fitness
Diet, nutrition or vitamins
None of the above


Get free support - Headache Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment on HeadacheCare.net


Health Centers







Diabetes

















Health news
  


Health Encyclopedia

Diseases & Conditions

Drugs & Medications

Health Tools

Health Tools



   Health newsletter

  





   Medical Links



   RSS/XML News Feed



   Feedback


Add to Yahoo RSS News Feed



Google Reader




Syndicate


This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
Verify here.




Breast Cancer - Dispel the Myths, Learn the Facts