Only a few weight loss interventions get proper assessment for more than a year, and only a handful utilize social and mobile technologies. To confirm this theory, researchers assessed data from a two year, theory-based, weight loss intervention that was remotely relayed via integrated user experiences with Facebook, mobile apps, mobile texts, emails, internet website, and technology-mediated communication with a health coach aka the SMART intervention.
The researchers enrolled 404 overweight or obese students, aged 18 to 35 years from three universities in San Diego, California between may 18, 2011 to may 17,2012. The mean age of participants was 22.7 years-70% of the participants were female-whereas 125-which is equivalent to 31% were Hispanic. At the start of the experiment, mean body-mass index (BMI) was 29.
The participants were randomly assigned into two equal groups, one was the SMART intervention group and the other one, was control group, which just had the general information about health and wellness.
The main outcome was weight in 24 months. Secondary outcome was weight measured at 6, 12 and 18 months.
After adjusting for factors such as sex and ethnicity there wasn’t much difference between the groups at 24 months.
However, there was significant weight drop during the first 6 months and 12 months of the trial, but not after 18 months.
An adverse event of increased susceptibility to gallstones in the SMART intervention group was observed, this could be attributed to rapid and excessive weight loss.
Hence, the results showed that social and mobile technologies do not have a long term sustainable effectiveness in terms of weight loss but can be quite effective for short term weight loss.
Moreover, similar thing happened when some of the contestants of the US weight loss reality show “The Biggest Loser” regained their lost weight due to their metabolism crashing. This does not mean that you should stop calorie counting, but you should rather have a simple approach of basic lifestyle change. There are many FDA approved medical devices to help you lose weight, but they have their own setbacks, such as occasional indigestion, nausea, constipation, vomiting and diarrhea.
Also, there are other risks associated with the surgery itself including skin abrasions, internal bleeding, infection and even an allergic reaction which makes it important to keep the consequences in mind.
Hence, if you are looking to shed some pounds from that old belly of yours, better to take the old school approach of healthy diet and exercise. After all a healthy dose of sit ups didn’t kill anybody, well it might have, at least by overdoing it