Mobile technology could potentially revolutionize the way medicine is practiced; for instance, emerging research suggests mobile phones using text messaging and monitoring can be a useful addition to health programs.
A new study evaluated a weight-loss intervention delivered by a smartphone application that provided support to individuals embarking on a partial meal replacement program (MRP).
Researchers randomly assigned overweight or obese women to one of two study groups: an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group received an MRP Support app and the control group received a static app based on the information available with the MRP.
Fifty-eight adult women participated in the eight-week trial. Researchers found users of the support app were more engaged than those using the control app.
Specifically, women in the intervention group reported a greater mood boost than those in the control group.
At Week 8, those in the control group reported a greater decrease in the effort they were willing to put into staying on the diet than those who received the Support app.
Investigators believe the findings suggest that the MRP Support app has the potential to increase positive mood and maintain motivation during a weight loss program. Moreover, it could be a useful adjunct to existing MRPs for psychological outcomes.