Weight loss apps for smartphone: effectiveness in doubt

The developers of various applications for smartphones do not overlook the fight against obesity, as the demand for programs for monitoring and motivation in this area is very high. However, the effectiveness of these applications for weight loss is still not proven.

European researchers decided to analyze the situation with applications for smartphones, which are most often used by people wanting to get rid of extra pounds.

The staff of the Catholic University in the Belgian city of Leuven (Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium) in cooperation with British colleagues from the University of Glasgow (Glasgow University) conducted a search for the keywords “weight”, “weight control” and “calories” in the most popular app stores for smartphones (Apple iTunes app store and Google play store).

The researchers found 3 013 suitable programs that have been downloaded by owners of smartphones 666 169 136 times.

Google play store free apps such appointment was almost 2 times more compared to the iTunes of Apple and the leaders in the number of downloads was “bracelet”, “my fitness PAL” and “Noom weight loss coach.”

Discovered app was designed primarily for weight control, monitoring the condition of the body (including energy expenditure) when performing various physical exercises, and also for monitoring the energy value of food.

However, further study showed that none of the thousands of such applications has not been developed by certified health center, or research organization.

Scientists also failed to find any information that would confirm the application efficiency for obesity or its prevention.

The authors of the report place in the Swedish city of göteborg (Gothenburg) European summit on the issue of obesity (summit of the European obesity) believe that developers of applications for smartphones that promote weight loss, use in its work, the results of numerous scientific studies devoted to the problem of excess weight. This will greatly enhance the effectiveness of programmes.

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