Wearable technology no more effective than traditional weight loss methods

A randomised controlled trial on the effectiveness of wearable technology in addressing obesity has found that devices that provide and offer feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioural weight loss approaches.


The study, published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) sought to establish whether wearable technologies specific to physical activity and diet were effective at improving weight loss.

Four hundred and seventy participants were placed on a low-calorie diet, given a physical activity plan and had counselling sessions. These participants were then randomly split into two groups, with one initiating ‘self-monitoring of diet and physical activity using a website’ and the other given wearable devices and a web interface to monitor diet and physical activity.’

There were ‘significant improvements in body composition, fitness, physical activity, and diet, with no significant difference between groups.’

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