Do Fitness Trackers Help You Lose Weight?

Fitness trackers have become very popular over the last couple of years helping track calories, steps and activity. Do they help you lose weight?



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Overweight and obese body habitus have increased substantially in westernized nations over the last several decades and accordingly, so have chronic medical conditions associated with obesity including heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer.

Many interventions targeting weight loss, including various diet and exercise, have surfaced in an attempt to curb this epidemic.

One such method is wearable tech. We all know that smart watches, fitbits and other wearable tech have exploded over the last few years. You can obtain a lot of information from these devices such as your average heart rate, calories burned and number of steps in a day.

Short term studies have shown modest benefits in weight loss, however the authors of this study wanted to develop more robust data investigating the effect of wearable tech on long term weight loss.

Among the 471 participants randomized, 74.5% completed the study.
Body mass index BMI: 25 to 40
Age range: 18-35 years
28.9 non-white
77.2 women

Although both groups lost weight, surprisingly the group that did not use the wearable technology lost more weight over 24 months 5.9 kg/ 13 lb vs 3.5 kg/ 7.7 lb, p 0.003.

Both groups had significant improvements in body composition including lean mass, body fat percentage, as well as fitness, physical activity, and diet, with no significant difference between groups.


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