Wearables May Not Mean More Weight Loss

Wearable device did not appear to help weight loss more than standard approaches

(RxWiki News) Are wearable technologies for monitoring and tracking physical activity and diet worth it? Maybe not, according to a new study.

This study, published in JAMA, found that these devices may not provide as much benefit in weight loss as some think.

The researchers behind this study looked at 470 young adults. The focus of this study was determining whether wearable technologies that help monitor and provide feedback on physical activity actually help people lose more weight.

All of the participants were placed on a low-calorie diet, instructed to increase their physical activity and asked to participate in group counseling sessions. After six months, text message prompting, telephone counseling sessions and access to study materials were added.

The participants were then separated into groups at random. One group would continue on as the standard intervention group, the intervention for which included self-monitoring of diet and physical activity using a website. The other group — the enhanced intervention group — was provided with a wearable device to help monitor diet and physical activity.

Those who were given a wearable device to help monitor and provide feedback on physical activity had less weight loss than those in the standard intervention group, these University of Pittsburgh researchers found. The group given the wearable device lost 2.4 kilograms — around 5.3 pounds — less than the standard intervention group on average.  

When looking at other factors like differences in fitness, physical activity levels, body composition and diet, these researchers did not find a significant difference between the standard intervention group and the enhanced intervention group. 

Speak with your doctor about how to maintain a healthy weight. 

Information about funding sources and conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.