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article imageResearch: Health apps can assist with weight loss

By Tim Sandle     Oct 27, 2018 in Health
A new study shows how health apps can assist obese patients, who live in low-income households, with weight loss. This has been tested out with people assesses as being at cardiovascular risk.
The research shows how patients can lose a clinically meaningful amount of weight. The research comes from Duke University, with the study focused on a low-income population. According to the British Medical Journal there is an association between lower income and higher risks for subsequent obesity. One of the reasons for this is due to the composition of foods that are lower in cost. There is a link is the result of poorer parents not being able to afford healthier food, like fruit, or outings involving exercise for their children.
There is also a medically demonstrated connection between obesity and the risk of cardiovascular disease. One study, for example, established obesity as a leading cause of “elevated cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity” and an association between the “increase in body mass index and the increase rates of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.”
The consequence is that new ways and new technologies need to be assessed by societies in order to address obesity and its health consequences. One example of this is the use of health apps. The recent study by Duke University shows how the use of appropriate apps can be effective.
According to lead researcher Gary Bennett, in a statement provided to Digital Journal: “This study shows we can help patients who are most at risk by embedding treatment in primary care settings and keeping patients engaged using a simple app.”
For the research, patients at a primary care clinic were given a free app called Track so they could monitor behavior changes. The use of the app was supported by dietitians providing motivation telephone calls.
The study outcome was that people who used the app and received the additional coaching support lost more weight compared with a control group that used conventional health services.
Here those patients who used the Track app, 43 percent lost more than 5 percent of their body weight over the course of a year. Additionally, their waist sizes decreased, and their blood pressure fell.
The research findings are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The research paper is titled : “Effectiveness of an App and Provider Counseling for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care.”
More about Obesity, Health, health apps, Weight loss
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