This free app helps you lose weight, researchers say

Mexico City-Using a free telephone application, obese low-income patients with signs of cardiovascular risk lost a clinically significant amount of weight, according to new research from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA.

The study is one of the first to report successful weight loss to a low-income population, a group that suffers from obesity that is rising but has proved difficult to treat, stressed lead author Gary Bennett. Professor of psychology and family law sciences at Duke University.

"Obesity continues to cause major damage to the health of our country and we have had the greatest difficulty treating Americans with low incomes, those most affected by the disease," says Bennett. patients who are most at risk by including treatment in the first line and keeping patients involved using a simple application. "

In the study, patients in a first-line clinic used a free application called & # 39; Track & # 39; to control behavioral changes. The application was not used on its own: the doctors were well versed in the application and the dietitians also monitored them via coaching & # 39; calls. Patients who used the application and received the calls from the specialists performed better than a control group that received routine care.

Lowered waist and blood pressure

Of the participants in the Track program, 43 percent lost more than 5 percent of their body weight in the course of a year. Their waist size decreased, as did their blood pressure and an even greater number of participants, 56 percent, lost at least 3 percent of their body weight in 12 months, which doctors consider a healthy amount of weight loss. The results are among the best treatment results for obesity in a medically vulnerable population, Bennett notes.

At a time when obesity remains epidemic, the research also provides encouraging evidence of a treatment approach that can work in primary care. This is important, because in the institutions for primary care most patients receive medical care. Institutions for primary care, however, rarely offer effective weight loss treatment and very few studies have measured the use of a weight loss application in that environment, according to the authors.

Most weight loss research so far has focused on healthy people who just want to lose weight, but obesity often exists alongside other health problems. For this reason, scientists focused on obese people who were ill: in addition to obesity members participating in the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, on high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.

"Most of what we know about the treatment of obesity is based on people who are reasonably healthy and very motivated to lose weight," says Bennett. "We have shown the ability to promote clinically significant weight loss in patients who need the most help, those with little motivation who already have health risks related to obesity," he says.

The research took place in a mainly rural area. For Bennett, the successful results of this study suggest that treatments for digital obesity can help to bridge the gap between obesity care in urban and rural settings.

"Thanks to digital treatments, we have access to more external institutions for high-quality care," says Bennett, "The expansion of broadband services for all Americans must be a priority for public health."

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