A mobile health care application used for an obesity treatment program, jointly supported by a local public health center and a private hospital, helped people lose weight significantly, a medical report showed.
Professor Shin Hyun-young at the Family Medicine Department of Myongji Hospital and her research team released the paper, titled “Effect of mHealth With Offline Antiobesity Treatment in a Community-Based Weight Management Program: Cross-Sectional Study,” in the JMIR mHealth and uHealth, a sister journal of JMIR (Journal of Medical Internet Research).
For the study, 150 overweight or obese adults participated in an eight-week antiobesity intervention program with personal coaching through a mobile app.
After the program, the participants’ average weight went down by 2.73 kg, and the average body mass index (BMI) dropped by 1.03. They also lost fat mass by 2.65 kg and waist circumference by 3.39 cm.
Factors that positively influenced weight loss included the frequency of mobile app use, young age, and increased exercise, the report showed.
In 2017, Goyang City and Myongji Hospital teamed up for a “Smart Obesity Coaching Program,” and Professor Shin led the program.
The public health center in Goyang provided nutrition counseling and regular exercise programs to the participants. The hospital gave initial obesity and health assessment, a doctor’s consultation to lose weight, and nutrition status monitoring for eight weeks.
In the process, healthcare professionals provided consultation and feedback about calorie intake and exercise to encourage the participants not to give up and continue lifestyle controls.
“To fight diseases requiring lifestyle control such as obesity and diabetes, researchers have been reporting positive effects of healthcare programs integrated with mobile health,” Shin said. “This study confirmed that the provision of health knowledge, lifestyle feedbacks, and monitoring through a mobile health app during a weight loss could help improve health indicators.”
The latest study was meaningful mainly because it used an integrated obesity program where a public health center and a local private hospital collaborated to promote the health of local residents, Shin emphasized.
“I hope there could be a policy that generates synergy effects between a public health center and a private hospital to promote residents’ health, not making them compete with each other,” she said.
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