Dietary self-monitoring, but not dietary quality, improves with use of smartphone app technology in an 8-week weight loss trial

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Sep-Oct;46(5):440-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.04.291.


Objective: Dietary self-monitoring is linked to improved weight loss success. Mobile technologies, such as smartphone applications (apps), might allow for improved dietary tracking adherence. The authors assessed the use of a popular smartphone app for dietary self-monitoring and weight loss by comparing it with traditional diet counseling and entry methods.

Methods: Diet tracking and weight loss were compared across participants during an 8-week weight loss trial. Participants tracked intake using 1 of 3 methods: the mobile app "Lose It!", the memo feature on a smartphone, or a traditional paper-and-pencil method.

Results: App users (n = 19) recorded dietary data more consistently compared with the paper-and-pencil group (n = 15; P = .042) but not the memo group (n = 13). All groups lost weight over the course of the study (P = .001), and no difference in weight loss was noted between groups.

Conclusions and implications: Smartphone apps could represent a novel and feasible dietary self-monitoring method for individuals.

Keywords: apps; dietary self-monitoring; smartphones; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone
  • Diet / methods*
  • Diet / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*