New NHS app aims to help dieters lose weight

Designers of a new NHS app are hoping to help dieters lose weight.

A trial of the smartphone technology, named 'My Meal Mate', has helped slimmers lose an average of ten pounds in six months - a good figure when compared to the average of six and a half pounds that people usually lose when using food diaries.

The app allows users to keep a record of their food intake and exercise. It also lets them set targets for their weight loss.

Talking about the technology, Professor Janet Cade from Leeds University's School of Food Science and Nutrition told "Smartphone technology could be harnessed to promote health. Generally people don't know how many calories they are eating daily. My Meal Mate really helped people monitor their food intake and resulted in an important amount of weight loss."

According to just over a quarter of all adults in the UK (26 per cent) are obese. It is also reported that obesity is costing the NHS £1.5 billion every year.

As well as using the app, those who are suffering with weight problems may want to invest in a healthy eating routine, regular exercise session or even sign up to counselling courses, which could help them with the issue.

It has recently been suggested that part of the nation's weight problem may be down to the fact that some manufacturers don't publish the amount of fat, salt and sugar their products contain. This includes big names such as Lindt, Marmite and Irn Bru.

However Professor Cade says that although food labelling is important, people will only lose weight if they understand the 'cumulative effects' of the food that they eat.