Becoming healthier and losing weight is something that many Americans struggle with every year. The impact of obesity on modern healthcare is significant and a growing problem as indicated by statistics from the CDC.
As many resolutions are made, people tend to lose sight of their goals if they do not track their progress. This has changed with the release of the American Medical Association’s free Weight What Matters app for the iPhone and Android platforms.
The app is part of Weigh What Matters, a family obesity prevention program developed by the AMA. This program encourages patients to work with their doctors to maintain a healthy weight, eat better, and increase physical activity. Weigh What Matters is also part of the AMA Healthier Life Steps initiative.
This initiative promotes healthy living and focuses on 4 key health behaviors – poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and excessive or risky use of alcohol which are significantly related to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions.
AMA President Peter W. Carmel, M.D. explains what the app can do.
“Every January, Americans implement New Year’s resolutions that involve healthy eating and increased physical activity. This new app encourages people to work with their physicians to set healthy goals, and it allows users to track their progress and accomplish their goals. ”The AMA Healthier Life Steps program offers tools and information to help physicians and patients work together to promote longer, healthier lives. Physicians and their staff can use this new app as a resource to work with patients to address challenging behavioral changes.”
The iMedicalApps team has previously reported on different apps for fitness and weight loss including SparkPeople.com, a website and mobile app which has tools available that helps users burn calories, This app is also accompanied by a motivational system where users can earn awards and trophies. We have also discussed United Preference, a company that is incentivizing healthy behavior by giving participants cash and other reward-based incentives.
The AMA Weigh What Matters app, though, is one of the first that encourages users to consult with their doctors about establishing personal health goals for three categories: weight, eating and activity. Once these goals are created, users are able to track their weight, physical activity and nutrition with daily entries. Another interesting feature of the app is that it is able to calculates a user’s Body Mass Index (BMI). There is also a mechanism to view progress reports and email those report’s directly to the user’s doctor in order to keep them in the loop.
All of these things come together to create an app that the AMA hopes to help people attain their weight loss goals.