Study: Weight Loss Apps Still Aren’t Using Many Established Behavior Change Strategies

One of the first, conducted in 2009, was covered by MobiHealthNews . At the time, we pointed out that this kind of study, which only examines whether apps follow existing protocols to determine how effective their weight loss strategies are, is not actually testing efficacy. The research team also acknowledged this isnt a true efficacy study and that more research must be doneto determine the efficacy of weight-loss mobile apps when they are used in combination with physician advice and monitoring. The published paper includes results from the study of 30 (free and paid) mobile apps found in January 2012 in the Apple App store and Google Play store. The data for the apps was analyzed in June 2012. Some of the apps analyzed included MyNetDiary, Livestrong, Fitbit, LoseIt!, and MyFitnessPal, according to the researchers. Established behavioral strategies that the research team looked for included weight-loss goals, dietary goals, stimulus control, a food pyramid, and portion control.

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