Do health apps help you lose weight? This is what the OCU says

Overweight and obesity are increasingly common health problems in today's society. Since 1975, its incidence has tripled worldwide and In Spain, currently, the overweight It affects 44.3% of men and 30.4% of women. The obesityat 19.3% and 18% respectively. They are risk factors that have a relevant incidence in diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular diseasesamong other.

In this context, health apps They are an option for many users who use them to track their physical activity, as well as monitor their diet and various aspects of their health. They are mainly used through wearables such as bracelets and smart watches, which have sensors to measure different variables of our body that a smartphone lacks. Technology companies have made apps like Fitbit, Apple Health or Google Fit tools that are presented as essential to maintain good health and physical fitness and, of course, lose weight. But are they really effective for this last purpose?

The Organization of consumers and users, OCUthis question has been raised and to answer it it is supported in the Cochrane review from a total of 18 studies on the effect of health apps on behavior modification of overweight and obese people. The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases containing different types of high-quality independent evidence to inform health decision-making. The studies have been collected from CENTRAL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and LILACS, as well as from the trial registries and the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.

Together they add up the results obtained from 2,703 participants with a Body Mass Index, BMIbetween 27 and 50. From 25, a person is considered overweight and from 30, obese.

When the influence of a mobile application was compared to minimal or no intervention through other means, the differences found were small, which suggests that apps may not have a significant effect on everyday life. There were also no differences found between the use of some apps and others. And when it comes to comparing the influence of an application with personalized advice to lose weight, It was observed that the applications barely produced differences in BMI.

The conclusion is that the difference between using and not using a health app to lose weight is small. The OCU remembers that the best way to lose weight is low a multidisciplinary approachwith the intervention of a doctor, a dietitian-nutritionist, a psychologist and a physical trainer.