Study testing out cell phone diet plan
7 Healthcast: Study testing out cell phone diet plan
Since moving from Taiwan -- Roger Hwang doesn't get nearly the amount of exercise he used to. His eating habits have changed, too.
"I put on about 30 to 40 pounds in two years since I moved here," he said.
That extra weight has translated into a problem with high cholesterol, a concern at any age, but roger is only 32 years old.
He's not alone. It's during those years between the ages of 18 and 35 that the majority of us gain weight.
"A lot of people leave home for the first time, live on their own for the first time,” Dr. Laura Svetkey of the Duke University Medical Center said.
Duke University medical center researchers studying weight loss techniques decided to harness the power of something nearly everyone in that age group has: a cell phone.
"I already carry my cell phone every day," Hwang said.
Roger is part of a Duke study that's using specially programmed Android smart phones to help participants with their weight-loss goals.
When they step on a scale, the results are sent to their phone. The phone then sends the participant weight-loss lifestyle tips and encouragement tailored to each person.
Some of the participants also get old-fashioned analog help: personal coaching from a human!
"They're sharing details with me about their lives, sometimes pretty intimate details about what affects their food choices," Carla Caccia said.
Researchers want to see whether the phone plus a human coach aids weight loss -- or whether the cell phone apps can stand alone. In the end, researchers hope both techniques work.
"What we really want is as many options as we can have to help people lose weight, control their weight," Dr. Svetkey said.
Whether it's a touch screen or a personal touch, Roger and the other participants hope the smart phone can help them keep that weight off for good.
The study just started in January. Each participant will be in the program for two years.
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