Personalized Self-Monitoring of Energy Balance through Integration in a Web-Application of Dietary, Anthropometric, and Physical Activity Data

J Pers Med. 2022 Apr 2;12(4):568. doi: 10.3390/jpm12040568.


Self-monitoring of weight, diet and physical activity is a valuable component of behavioral weight loss treatment. The validation and user-friendliness of this approach is not optimal since users are selected from homogeneous pools and rely on different applications, increasing the burden and achieving partial, generic and/or unrelated information about their metabolic state. Moreover, studies establishing type, time, duration, and adherence criteria for self-monitoring are lacking. In this study, we developed a digital web-based application (ArmOnIA), which integrates dietary, anthropometric, and physical activity data and provides a personalized estimation of energy balance. Moreover, we determined type, time, duration, and adherence criteria for self-monitoring to achieve significant weight loss in a highly heterogeneous group. A single-arm, uncontrolled prospective study on self-monitored voluntary adults for 7 months was performed. Hierarchical clustering of adherence parameters yielded three behavioral approaches: high (HA), low (LA), and medium (MA) adherence. Average BMI decrease is statistically significant between LA and HA. Moreover, we defined thresholds for the minimum frequencies and duration of dietary and weight self-monitoring. This approach can provide the correct clues to empower citizens with scientific knowledge, augmenting their self-awareness with the aim of achieving long-lasting results when pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Keywords: energy balance; exercise; metabolism; nutrition; obesity; personalized medicine; self-monitoring; wearables; web-application; weight loss.