According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of adults in the United States are currently overweight or obese, which puts these individuals at increased risk for chronic health problems. Although weight loss decreases this risk, statistics show that dieters often fail multiple times before meeting their goals. Now, researchers have found that information technology, such as smartphone applications, can help dieters integrate healthy behavior changes into their daily lives.
“When people use information technology to support their weight-loss efforts, they tend to access features that streamline the tracking of daily health behaviors, such as caloric intake and exercise, or that provide visual feedback on their overall progress, like graphs showing weight lost over time,” said Cheryl Shigaki, an associate professor in the MU School of Health Professions. “Self-monitoring is key to successful weight loss, and information technology can make these tasks more convenient. We also found that people really liked getting feedback on their progress, which motivated them and helped them better evaluate their health behaviors and plan for future success.”
Source: University of Missouri-Columbia. “Information technology can simplify weight-loss efforts; social support still important for success.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2014.