An app a day keeps the pounds away

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When paired with diet and education, a mobile app may help people lose weight, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Northwestern University studied 69 adults who participated in a yearlong weight loss program. Half of the participants used the mobile app to augment their program, while the other half did not.

Participants in weight loss programs who used the app, which aided them in keeping track of their caloric intake and physical activity, lost approximately 15 pounds in three months, and kept the weight off for a year. Those who attended a program but never used the app did not lose a significant amount of weight during the same time period, researchers reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

It s important to note that people lost weight not only with an app, but when the app was used in conjunction with attending a weight loss program, says ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava. The study, albeit small and needing further replication, is interesting and shows how new technology can be used for weight loss motivation.