, 14:485
Date: 25 Mar 2014

Review of Innovations in Digital Health Technology to Promote Weight Control

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Abstract

Advances in technology have contributed to the obesity epidemic and worsened health by reducing opportunities for physical activity and by the proliferation of inexpensive calorie-dense foods. However, much of the same technology can be used to counter these troublesome trends by fostering the development and maintenance of healthy eating and physical activity habits. In contrast to intensive face-to-face treatments, technology-based interventions also have the potential to reach large numbers of individuals at low cost. The purpose of this review is to discuss studies in which digital technology has been used for behavioral weight control, report on advances in consumer technology that are widely adopted but insufficiently tested, and explore potential future directions for both. Web-based, mobile (eg, smartphone), virtual reality, and gaming technologies are the focus of discussion. The best evidence exists to support the use of digital technology for self-monitoring of weight-related behaviors and outcomes. However, studies are underway that will provide additional, important information regarding how best to apply digital technology for behavioral weight control.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Obesity