Electronic Diary Helps Overweight, Obese

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SAN DIEGO (UPI) — Adults, overweight or obese, who used an electronic diary program on a personal digital assistant did a better job of controlling their weight, U.S. researchers said.

Study author Lora E. Burke of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania said people using the electronic diary program, which provided tailored dietary and exercise feedback messages, were more successful in adhering to five treatment factors for weight loss including:

— Attending group sessions.

— Meeting daily calorie goals

— Meeting daily fat intake goals.

— Reaching weekly exercise goals.

— Monitoring eating and exercise.

The Self-Monitoring and Recording with Technology study involved 210 overweight or obese adults — 84 percent women and 79 percent white — who used a paper diary, a handheld electronic device without feedback or a handheld device that provided daily messages.

The study found those using the electronic devices did significantly better than those using a paper diary for attendance, self-monitoring and energy and exercise goals.

After six months, the group that received the daily feedback messages from their device had more than a 5 percent weight loss, but over time adherence declined and weight gain occurred. At 24 months, weight loss was similar across the three groups, but was slightly better in the group receiving feedback, Burke said.

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism scientific sessions in San Diego.

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