Study Finds Fitness Trackers May Not Help With Weight Loss

While fitness trackers are a popular health tool, do they really help you lose weight?  A recent study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that wearing fitness trackers may not result in greater weight loss. The study was conducted through the University of Pittsburgh, and involved a group of 470 participants, that were placed on a lower calorie diet and asked to exercise more frequently. They also participated in group counseling sessions.  The participants were aged 18-35 years old and had a body mass index of 25.0 to 40.0 ("overweight" and "obese").

Six months into the study, a random group of the participants were given a wearable device to monitor their physical activity.  The device was worn on the upper arm and provided information to the participant about physical activity and energy expenditure.  Two years into the study, the participants were assessed to determine if the addition of a fitness tracking device in a diet and exercise intervention improved weight loss.

It was found that the two groups of young adults were equally active and had significant improvements in diet and exercise, but the group that wore the fitness tracker lost less weight than the group that used standard behavioral weight loss methods.  The group that did not use the fitness trackers lost an average of 13 pounds, while the group that used the trackers lost an average of 7.7 pounds.

This study indicates that wearing a device, such as a fitness tracker, may not offer an advantage if your goal is to lose weight.

Full Journal Article Here: