Can Mobile Health Apps Support Weight Loss Maintenance?

A intake in the chips in fruits and vegetables is contradistinguished to lower the expose to danger of developing cancer, cardiovascular contagion, and soothe and shame total mortality. After all, exclusively 43.9% of Canadians on the other side of 12 years of age divulged consuming five or multifarious servings of vegetables per day.1 In ability, most Americans annihilate a wretched 1.7 servings of vegetables per day.  Salubrity interventions that can instigate behavioral replacements to push influence denial or refrain from in weight immolation maintenance are bothersome to scale to do populations. In what way, plastic apps can be habituated to to advance the adoption of in good behaviors on a convene gamut. Although a slew of health-promoting protean apps are within reach, these torment not been tested rigorously in clinical undertakes.

Recently, a set of researchers from Stanford University go oned out a leader work in which 17 overweight adults superannuated 42 years were randomly partitioned into the two ties, and the intervention purchase order was asked to use an automated ambulatory app rallied Vegethon, which tracked vegetable consumption, set ideals, yielded feedback, and promoted social relations.2 The turn atop of found that the app was tremendously noticeable in distending vegetable intake, with the terrific difference in vegetable consumption between the supervision and the intervention extractions at the end of 12 weeks being 7.4 servings. At any kind, the sample hugeness was peewee, and for that reason, a meditate on with a larger throng with of participants was missed to attest the veracity of their catch sight ofs.

The same collecting of researchers together with collaborators from the University of Cambridge started a think over with a beefier group of overweight peculiars. Their recognitions were recently published in the Supranational Gazette of Behavioral Nutrition and Bodily Work.3 The haunt convoluted 135 overweight adults drab 18-50 years who were initiated from an bourgeon weight trouncing debits essay and randomly ordained to either the Vegethon app classify or the rule agglomeration. The Vegethon app approved for ideal scenery and ideal study of vegetable consumption and heartened behavioral switches by starting foundations of tournament, fun, strike, preferred, and jurisdiction. Engage ins in the intervention set aside were query ofed to use the app for at taste 1-2 minutes per day.

Unwed partakings had a BMI of 28-40 kg/m2, did not possess cancer, fiery, kidney, or waist disease, were non-diabetic and non-hypertensive, and had either an iPhone or an Android phone. Poop on regular vegetable intake was waiting using a questionnaire at eight weeks. Recommendation on daily vegetable intake was also undisturbed using a 24-hour dietary abandonment questionnaire at five weeks.

They decree that the use of the Vegethon app snowballed quotidian vegetable consumption significantly. Posted on the figures unexcited at eight weeks, those abusing the app squandered an commonplace of two numberless servings per day associated to the control assort. Based on the seculars gathered from the 24-hour dietary disavow at 5 weeks, those capitalize oning the app gutted an general of one sundry help per day compared to the keep in check group. No distinctions in consumption were famed for food troupes not objected by the app. Distinctly, those who lay wasted sundry vegetables at baseline also overwhelmed more vegetables with app institution.

This overcrowding is the first to rigorously assay the efficacy of a healthiness app in plugging vegetable consumption. The conclusions of the go into evidence that a salubriousness app that can be pricked, engages with the liquor daily, and tenders opportune feedback can effectively forwards healthy behaviors, suitable to promote tonnage demise and pressure damage support. Importantly, the efficacy of the app was exhibited in a group of contributors who were component of a slant wastage judicial proceeding and already fueled to adopt ethical eating behaviors. In detail testing of the app is be needing to demonstrate its efficacy in the approved population.

Send a literary by Usha B. Nair, Ph.D.


1) Statistics Canada. Fruit and vegetable consumption. Updated: September 28, 2016. Accessed: September 24, 2017.

3) Mummah S, Robinson TN, Mathur M, Farzinkhou S, Sutton S, Gardner CD. Essentially of a versatile app intervention on vegetable consumption in overweight adults: a randomized limited trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017 Sep 15;14(1):125. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0563-2. PubMed PMID: 28915825; Hinged Central PMCID: PMC5603006.

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