Phone apps prove unsuccessful for dieters, says study

Researchers have found that phone apps are unsuccessful in helping people to lose weight, according to

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in the US. They concluded that the apps don't contain enough tips to help change behaviours and also lack motivational support from those trying to shed weight.

Talking about the findings, Sherry Pagoto, associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School told "Apps do include evidence-based behavioural strategies, but only a narrow range. Strategies that often were missing are ones that help patients with adherence and motivation."

The research also found that free apps had the same effectiveness rate as premium apps. Thirty of the most popular smartphone and tablet diet apps were included in the information.

The news suggests that weight loss methods which have been tested more thoroughly may be better for dieters to try. This includes healthy eating plans, regular exercise counselling courses and even hypnotherapy.

Martyn Landi, reviews editor of British-based Apps magazine did however say that technology is helping to make weight loss apps more motivational. He cited features such as those which let people share their diet journey on social media sites, which may help to spur them on.