“Information technology repackages traditional weight loss strategies and provides new tools such as exercise logs and nutritional databases to implement that knowledge,” explained Cheryl Shigaki, an associate professor in the MU school of health professions.
How can people achieve best results?
When people use information technology to support their weight-loss efforts, they tend to access features that streamline the tracking of daily health behaviours, such as calorie intake and exercise.
The mobile technology provides visual feedback on their overall progress like graphs showing weight lost over time.
“Self-monitoring is key to successful weight loss and information technology can make these tasks more convenient,” Shigaki added.
Although use of smart phone apps may increase participants’ engagement and persistence, individuals still must practice accountability for their health behaviours to succeed, Shigaki maintained.
The study has been published in the Journal of Telemedicine and e-Health.