By Mia Campbell, a postdoctoral researcher in health psychology
In a blog post aptly named “Digital Health or Digital Hell’’ on the 10th of January this year, Dr Julia Bailey expressed concerns over the enormous number of digital aids available to assist with adopting various health behaviours. A sizeable chunk of those technologies aim (and claim) to help with weight management, be it dietary regulation or broader self-regulatory behaviours related to weight control. As a rule, (but not always), weight management apps tend to be eye-pleasing and well thought out in terms of presentation, colours and functionality. But research suggests that their content is very rarely evidence and theory-based and sometimes may even provide outright fake information (e.g. placing your phone on your stomach to break up fat cells through the vibrate function). In my field of research- yoyo dieting – you are most likely to encounter savvy, experienced dieters, who have become experts in their own weight loss. While they are unlikely to buy into such dubious solutions, dieters are likely to try apps that appear to present legitimate advice.