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Neither App Nor Coaching Effective At Long-Term Weight Loss

November 20, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Weight loss programs for young adults that employ smartphone apps – even with personalized coaching – are no more effective at helping shed pounds than instructional fliers, a U.S. study has found. It’s upsetting news, because 35 percent of Americans in the 18-35 age range are obese. The randomized study included 365 people. One group used a free Android app called CITY (Cell Phone Intervention for You), designed for the study by university scientists. On average, participants who used the app lost about two pounds after two years, about the same as a control group that received handouts about exercise and nutrition. A separate arm of the study worked with the app and a personal coach, with the same disappointing results.
Laura P. Svetkey et al., " Cell phone intervention for you (CITY): A randomized, controlled trial of behavioral weight loss intervention for young adults using mobile technology. ", Obesity, November 20, 2015, © The Obesity Society
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