University researchers have got together with app development firm Blueberry Consultants Ltd., to develop an application called "My Meal Mate" for Smartphones that can prove to be a good weight loss tool.
The application users can log what they have eaten on a daily basis as well as their activity levels. Further, they are also able to log in weight loss goals. The users also receive SMS once a week summarizing what they have done towards their goals. It also reminds them of their goals.
The team compared this application with other traditional tools used for weight loss - the traditional food journal and an online food diary.
The study which went on for six months, found that 'My Meal Mate' dieters had lost an average of ten pounds. Those who had logged their meals online lost an average of three pounds and those who used a real paper journal lost about six and a half pounds during six months of dieting.
Professor Janet Cade from the School of Food Science and Nutrition said, "Smartphone technology could be harnessed to promote health; generally people don't know how many calories they are eating daily. My Meal Mate really helped people monitor their food intake and resulted in an important amount of weight loss."
"The labeling on food packaging can help people to identify sensible food choices, but it doesn't enable them to understand the cumulative effects of the foods they eat. Keeping a food diary allows us to see where we might be eating too much and the app has proved to be the most effective tracking method by far."