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Mobile Devices Play Important Role In Weight Loss: Study

Evidence abounds that the support provided by mobile devices can help dieters lose more weight than they would otherwise, according to researchers at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Apps that provide health advice and reminders to eat well were among the features the researchers say might just really work.

"In conjunction with reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity, mobile messaging services could help to maintain and sustain weight loss over time," says Tanika Kelly, who earned a Master of Public Health from Tulane in 2003 and a PhD in 2009. "It reminds us to continue our good behaviors."

Kelly's classmate Fangchao Liu led the meta-analysis that involved 14 randomized, controlled trials of weight loss interventions involving mobile devices, working with data from a total of 1,337 patients.

Those who underwent a weight loss intervention using mobile devices lost an average of 1.44 kg or a little more than three pounds more during their six to 12 month interventions when compared to control groups whose intervention did not involve such a device.

While this may not seem like much, Kelly points out that small-scale, individual weight loss adds up in the interest of improving public health.

"Even modest levels of sustained weight loss can yield substantial reductions in weight-related morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs," she says.

An abstract of the meta-analysis was published in the journal Circulation.


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