FPIN's Help Desk Answers
Wearable Devices for Weight Loss
Am Fam Physician. 2018 Dec 1;98(11):670-671.
Do wearable devices aid with weight loss when combined with behavioral interventions?
There is conflicting evidence about the effectiveness of adding a wearable device to intensive lifestyle interventions for weight loss. [corrected] There is no effect on outcomes of body composition, fitness level, overall physical activity, or dietary choices. (Strength of Recommendation: C, disease-oriented evidence.)
A 2016 multicenter randomized controlled trial (n = 471) compared the effectiveness of intensive lifestyle behavioral interventions vs. lifestyle interventions plus a wearable device for weight loss.1 The study participants were 18 to 35 years of age with body mass indices of 25 to 40 kg per m2 and indicated they were interested in weight loss. Those who had weight loss surgery or self-reported weight loss of more than 5% of current body weight in the previous three months were excluded. Participants were placed on a low-calorie diet (1,200 kcal per day for those weighing less than 200 lb [90.7 kg], 1,500 kcal per day for those weighing 200 to 250 lb [113.4 kg], or 1,800 kcal per day for those weighing more than 250 lb), were prescribed physical activity (100 to 300 minutes per week), and had group counseling sessions for six months. After six months, monthly telephone counseling sessions, weekly text message prompts, and access to online study materials were added. At that time, participants were randomized to two groups: the control group continued with the previous activity and diet plan, and the intervention group received the BodyMedia Fit Core armband to monitor physical activity and software to allow self-monitoring of dietary intake. Outcomes were measured every six months for 24 months. The primary outcome was change in weight; secondary outcomes included body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, and dietary intake. Patients in the intervention group did not lose weight over the 24-month
1. Jakicic JM, Davis KK, Rogers RJ, et al. Effect of wearable technology combined with a lifestyle intervention on long-term weight loss: the IDEA randomized clinical trial [published correction appears in JAMA. 2016;316(14):1498]. JAMA. 2016;316(11):1161–1171.
2. Shuger SL, Barry VW, Sui X, et al. Electronic feedback in a diet- and physical activity-based lifestyle intervention for weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011;8:41.
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