Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smartphone way to lose weight

Date:
April 15, 2013
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Forget fad diets and hypnotherapy; your smartphone could be a key tool to losing those post-Easter egg pounds, according to scientists.

Your smartphone could be a key tool to losing weight according to scientists at the University of Leeds. 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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carter MC, Burley VJ, Nykjaer C, Cade JE. My Meal Mate Smartphone Application for Weight Loss: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res, 15 April 2013 DOI: 10.2196/jmir.2283

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "Smartphone way to lose weight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415124908.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2013, April 15). Smartphone way to lose weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415124908.htm
University of Leeds. "Smartphone way to lose weight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415124908.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins