3 Mobile Apps to Help Cut the Fat
The LiVe application makes it easier to set fitness and healthy eating goals—but it's also kid-friendly and has a sense of fun. For example, the app uses a roulette function to help you generate ideas to increase your physical activity. Select what type of activity you're interested in—inside games, outside games, night games—shake the phone, and an activity is suggested.
Users can also track progress toward their weight loss goals, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and increasing physical activity.
Researchers at San Francisco State University are testing how effective smartphones can be in helping people maintain a healthy lifestyle and decrease the risks from obesity. They developed an app that tracks the food and portions patients eat, calculates calories burned during exercise, and offers text messaging with health coaches.
The study subjects include overweight or obese youth at San Francisco General Hospital's Teen Clinic and focus groups consisting of SF State students.
A consumer version of the food tracking app is available online—a more sophisticated app will be available after the two-year study is complete. But even that version has lots of functions—it has programs on smoking, hypertension, and pregnancy. Patients can track medications, mood, even the quality of their sleep. And diabetics can track glucose levels, carbs, and meal frequency. It also uses elements of social media—allowing users to share their numbers with others, for example.
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