Mobile tools can help shed pounds

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 24, 2012

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The addition of a mobile tool to a diet program can enhance short-term weight loss, according to research published online Dec. 10 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers assigned 69 overweight or obese individuals to a weight-loss program that included 12 group sessions on nutrition, exercise and behavioral changes. Half of that group also received a personal digital assistant to record their food intake and activity levels. The PDA group had a weight-loss coach who checked in with them by phone every two weeks for six months. Weight was measured at the start of the program then after three, six, nine and 12 months.

The group with PDAs lost a mean average of 3.1% more weight than those in the standard weight-loss program at each of the weigh-ins, the study said (link).

About a third of the group with PDAs lost 5% or more of their body weight within the first three months, while participants without PDAs did not lose a significant amount of weight during that time. The benefits of having the tool lasted the entire year.

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