According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of adult Americans own a smart phone ( A ). We use our phones for everything these days from banking to shopping, boarding a plane, submitting insurance claims and even consulting with a doctor. And out of all American adults who are online, 74% use social networking sites ( B ). A staggering 1.7B people are expected to download a mobile heath app by 2017 ( C ) Over 80% of physicians and nurses already use smartphones in their everyday practices ( D ).
Here is some research that can help health and fitness professionals understand how MealLogger can help reach more clients and improve outcomes.
- PHOTOGRAPHING MEALS PROMOTES HEALTHY EATING AND REDUCES ENERGY INTAKE. Photojournaling encourages clients to self-monitor and enjoy doing it! People maintaining a photographic food record meet their dietary goals more often by reducing their total calorie intake, total fat intake, and percentage of calories from fat ( H ).
- PHOTOS TRUMP TEXT. We photograph meals before eating, yet we log meals into written food diaries after we eat. This uniquely positions photographic food diaries to alter attitudes and behaviors more effectively than written diaries ( G ).
- HUMAN INTERACTION IS CRITICAL. How critical? Tech-based weight loss programs that allow clients to connect remotely with a health professional (“e-counseling”) lose more weight inches from their waist than standardized programs that lack a personal interface ( J ). In fact, people who used portable technology and received individualized feedback and support ate 2 more servings of vegetables and 4 more servings of fiber from grains each day than those who didn’t ( I ).
- GROUP VERSUS 1-ON-1 COUNSELING FOR WEIGHT LOSS. Which is more effective? Group therapy yields greater weight loss than individual therapy, even among those who express a preference for individual counseling ( K ). (MealLogger offers both formats nonetheless to accommodate personal preference.)
- MAKE IT FUN AND ENGAGING. Calorie-counting apps, far from fun, prove ineffective at promoting weight loss ( L ). And while there aren’t any studies showing the efficacy of food-related competitions and challenges yet, there is evidence that making things fun helps people to make healthier choices ( M ).
- INCREASE CLIENT RETENTION: Keeping in touch with clients through telephone and computer contact can be very effective ( Fabricatore & Wadden, 2005 ).
- CREATE FEEDBACK LOOPS. Providing clients with encouragement when they make the right choices is a powerful motivator and will help with adherence ( N )