Social Support Helps Teens Maintain Weight Loss from Smartphone Apps

Social Support Helps Teens Maintain Weight Loss from Smartphone Apps

Investigators from Brigham Young University led a 24-week behavioral study that combined traditional weight control intervention with smartphone-assisted aid. They found that while teens lost weight initially, they could not maintain it when smartphones were the only tool helping them stay on track. “We know that teens are on their phones, which gives us a way to intervene in the moment,” said lead author and Brigham Young University psychology professor Dr. Chad Jensen. “We wanted to determine whether we could effectively use texting and a commercially available smartphone app to help adolescents with weight loss.” The study, published in the Journal of Medical Research took place during two consecutive 12-week periods, the first of which combined electronic (smartphone) intervention and traditional in-person treatment.

Key Points:

  • 1New research finds that while teens use smartphones for a wide variety of tasks, they are not enough to help teens maintain weight loss.
  • 2The study took place during two consecutive 12-week periods, the first of which combined electronic (smartphone) intervention and traditional in-person treatment while the second had smartphone intervention only.
  • 3Researchers found that while teens lost weight initially, they could not maintain it when smartphones were the only tool helping them stay on track.


These results emphasize the importance of social support in creating lasting change and motivating healthy behavior. But this doesn’t mean that smartphone fitness tools are useless; they’re just best used as an add-on to augment other fitness habits by making it easier to track behavior and progress.

Read the full article at: https://psychcentral.com/news/2016/10/24/for-