Tester: Fitness wristbands do not help with weight loss in any way

Doctors are examining the impact of fitness wristbands on weight
Long-term healthy eating and adequate exercise are very important for many people today. More and more adults exercise regularly and pay attention to their body weight. Nowadays there are more technical devices to support this new fitness trend. But are such devices really useful? Does the use of so-called fitness trackers lead to additional weight loss?

The scientists from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Health and Physical Activity have now found in an investigation that the use of so-called fitness trackers does not lead to additional weight loss. The experts published the results of their study in the journal "JAMA".

Do fitness trackers help us lose weight faster?
Nowadays, many people pay more attention to their weight. A good figure and a healthy body weight are very important in today's society. Many use so-called fitness bracelets (fitness trackers) to lose weight faster and achieve their dream figure, the authors explain. Even health insurance companies support the new trend. The Techniker Krankenkasse TK wants to finance fitness wristbands. Scientists are now investigating the impact of these fitness bracelets on weight loss.

Different weight management leads to greater success
The subjects wore a fitness tracker for more than 24 months. During this time, the users lost about 2.4 kg in weight. However, this weight loss was less than that of the participants from the other study group. They used a website that monitored their weight loss, says Dr. John M. Jakicic from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Health and Physical Activity. So the question arises: What do fitness trackers really do?

Study examines nearly 500 overweight subjects
For their investigation, the researchers recruited almost 500 subjects in Pittsburgh. The participants were between 18 and 35 years old and overweight. First, the subjects had to take part in a few weekly meetings. These were used to monitor weight changes and discuss strategies about diet and exercise, the experts say. Subsequently, the subjects met only monthly and each participant had telephone conversations with consultants about their progress in weight loss.

Subjects were divided into two groups
After six months, half of the participants started monitoring their diet and physical activity through a website. The other half used a portable fitness tracker, the doctors explain. For example, the device calculated steps taken, hours slept and calories burned.

Weight loss was evaluated after two years
After two years, the participants had lost an average of 3.5 kg with the portable fitness wristbands. Subjects who monitored their weight loss with the help of a website lost about 5.9 kg in comparison. The body composition, fitness, physical activity and nutrition of participants in both groups had improved, the scientists explain.

Fitness bracelet as a motivation for sport
The results do not mean that so-called fitness bracelets do not work properly. There are so many factors that can affect weight loss. This makes it difficult to say whether the use of these devices is worthwhile or whether fitness trackers are generally not necessary for the weight loss achieved, the experts say. If a fitness armband motivates you to exercise, it's certainly worth the money. But fitness trackers are not about a fashion statement or a trend.

Monitoring is helpful for successful weight management
Monitoring activity, behavior, and nutrition is very important for success in weight management. This monitoring makes it much easier to lose weight. Actually, those affected only have to consume a reasonable number of calories and additionally carry out moderate to strong activity for 30 to 60 minutes a day, the authors say. Monitoring weight can help achieve these goals. (as)

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