Study: the use of fitness trackers may hamper weight loss

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that fitness trackers — a category that certainly includes the Apple Watch Series 2 — could hamper your ability to meet your weight loss goals.

The study, which took place between 2010 and 2014, included 471 randomized participants (74.5% completed the study) which were separated into two main groups. One group manually documented their physical activity at the end of the day while the other one wore automatic activity trackers which did the documentation for them.

“Among young adults with a BMI between 25 and less than 40, the addition of a wearable technology device to a standard behavioral intervention resulted in less weight loss over 24 months” according to a summary of the study. “Devices that monitor and provide feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioral weight loss approaches.”

How can this be? According to ReadWrite: “One possible explanation for the results would be that seeing exactly how active you are, while encouraging that activity, may justify extra caloric intake to the participant. Simply put: you can’t outrun a bad diet.’

The answer: use the fitness tracker AND implement a reasonable diet along with exercise. Like all technology, you have to use it properly.