Smartphones alone not the smart choice for teen weight control, study finds: Combining fitness apps with social support and accountability are the key - (Science Daily via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A 24-week behavioural trial, published in the Journal of Medical Research, that combined traditional weight control intervention with smartphone-assisted help, found that while adolescents lost weight initially, they could not maintain it when smartphones were the only tool helping them stay on track, Science Daily reported.

  • The study took place during two consecutive 12-week periods, with the first combining smartphone intervention, with daily texts and self-monitoring on the Daily Burn app, and traditional in-person treatment, and the second featuring the smart phone intervention only.

  • Study participants achieved modest weight loss during the first period, decreasing their body mass index by 0.08 points on average.

  • During the second period, self-monitoring rates dropped from nearly 50 percent to 16.8 percent and the participants regained their lost weight.

  • Lead author Jensen suggested that smartphones, no matter how helpful or easy-to-use, lack certain critical characteristics present during the in-person treatment.

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