App-ic fail: Weight-loss apps leave researchers unimpressed

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Has your weight loss app failed you?   You are not alone .
Are weight loss apps overrated? There’s plenty of controversy when it comes to our growing “app-etite” for new ways to

More people are turning to apps to help them lose weight. But they may not be helping according to new research by the University of Sydney.

“There aren’t any guidelines or regulations for the apps,” says lead author Juliana Chen, a dietitian and PhD candidate in the Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Science.

Chen and her team looked at 800 apps before narrowing it down to 28 apps specifically targeting weight-loss.
Each app was tested for five days and rated based on the credibility and accuracy of their information, the inclusion of enhanced features (like bar-code scanners), and the likelihood of changing health behaviors.

The best ones had “motivational components” including game elements like rewards, challenges, points and feedback.

Overall though, the apps weren’t winning over any weight-loss researchers.

There were several glaring problems.

“Less than one third of the apps recorded having a author within the health profession,” Chen says.

Less than half the apps included information about healthy eating and the measures used in the apps weren’t even necessarily accurate.

marry technology with fitness.

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