Obesity is not the same condition as being overweight, although the two are often confused. Being obese means having too much fat which levels exceed the upper range defined for the person of certain age and height.
Due to the increased number of obese people, the global authorities have taken really seriously this condition and have dedicated resources to fight it. The most notable obesity is that in children which are placing them in the high-risk group regarding their health. Even though many policies are in place, CDC reports the prevalence among children is still very high affecting 13,7 million of them.
Controlled diet and physical activity are the first lines in fighting childhood obesity, but children are often hard to motivate to practice these two strategies regularly. That is why scientists looked for the answers in modern society since it is also the cause of inadequate activity and bad habits.
Therefore, here is how technology can fight obesity and help people adopt healthy practices.
Smartphones – the new resource in fighting obesity
New technologies are perfect for monitoring the progress of the obese patients, especially when it comes to modern day people, as using a smartphone comes as the second nature. There are many apps available that will help you monitor their progress and which one you will choose depends on its features.
“Having patients record eating and activity on a mobile app that’s monitored by a coach is a scalable, cost-effective way to boost the effectiveness of clinician-directed weight-loss treatment,” says Bonnie Spring, a professor of preventive medicine and psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and author of the 2007-2010 study.
“An app can give people feedback about how many calories they’re eating, and help them make wise choices at the moment. Knowing that a coach is ‘hovering’ and watching the patient’s behaviour is a way of supportively holding the person accountable,” added professor Spring.
The available apps give certain features for free while for the premium ones you have to pay a certain price, which can be well worth it. Apps offer support, journals, reminders, and milestones, as well as exercise and diet programs. However, based on professor Spring, the best effect is combining new technologies and health education instead of focusing on only one.
What apps offer?
Apps offer privacy which is important for obese individuals since often they would feel ashamed and unsure of themselves. Based on the data a person inputs on daily basis, like hours of sleep, foods they eat and type of physical activity they had, apps can tell them about their progress and status.
Children, for example, need something that will appeal to them and their age, but above all, they need understanding and support. Therefore, when you choose an app, look for those qualities as well.
Apps also offer tutorial videos on how to measure portions, but it will also show them how many carbs, fats, and proteins they may intake on daily basis. Some apps even have a database of products which only makes it easier for a person to monitor what they eat and thus pay attention what to avoid.
When to think about surgical procedures
If the person’s obesity is so great that they can barely move or, physical activity will only impair their health further, then it is recommended to start with a diet until the certain body weight is reached. When this is accomplished, a combination of physical activity and deciding on weight loss surgery recommended by specialists is the next step in fighting obesity.
Surgery today use modern technological advancements that allow for less invasive procedures which also makes them a recommendable resource in lowering the number of obese cases. Before undergoing these procedures, medical professionals will test the individual and examine their overall physical and mental health. The procedures are optional, although sometimes they will be the most appropriate solution given the complete assessment of the patient.
Moreover, surgery is not a new procedure for treating obesity… It’s in use since the late 1970s and the data from the past ten years shows an increase in patients deciding for this option. Gastric sleeve surgery, a procedure that decreases the size of the stomach, is the most common one around the world.
Obesity is a serious issue and a number one cause of subsequent diseases and conditions which can have a tragic consequence for an individual. By addressing this issue using all the resources available, like smartphones and modern technology, people can and will adapt more easily to the weight loss regime.
In the end, it’s important to choose the most appropriate application that will create a motivational and comfortable environment for a person to change their lifestyle. Support and acknowledging their success is also an essential factor to ensure that the app provides that as well.