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Fitness Trackers Can Help Obese Lose Weight

THURSDAY, March 18, 2021 -- Health wearable devices are effective intervention tools/strategies for reducing body weight and body mass index (BMI) in individuals with overweight/obesity and chronic comorbidities, according to a review published online March 17 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Daniel J. McDonough, from University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify randomized controlled trials evaluating health wearable-based interventions using two or more physical activity intervention arms/strategies.

Based on 31 included studies, researchers found that for body weight reduction in individuals with overweight/obesity and chronic comorbidities, accelerometer/pedometer-only and commercial health wearable-only intervention strategies were the most effective (versus three other treatments and a control condition). Multicomponent accelerometer/pedometer and commercial health wearable-only intervention strategies were the most effective for BMI reduction compared with the other four conditions.

"While research grade step counters and accelerometers aren't available to the public, commercial wearable fitness trackers are, and represent a practical option for people who are overweight/obese and who have weight-related conditions," the researchers said in a statement.

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