Science of weight loss

Science of weight loss
September 11, 2017 Johan Dahlström

A lot of people want to lose weight and striving to be on the other side of the curve. But to the contrary, obesity rates are increasing and despite of the best of their intentions people are not succeeding in their weight loss efforts.

Here are some key findings of a research that would help us identify the barriers to weight loss efforts, and a resistance towards weight loss apps and what do the users actually wish for while on a weight loss journey.

When asked about the barriers to losing weight and trying to stay healthy, participants of the research said that they lacked initial motivation, they found it difficult to stay motivated and lacked an effective goal setting strategy. In terms of the social aspect of weight loss, they said that unhelpful social influences were also one of the key problems they were facing.  

Key take-away of physical programmes: A large number of people within the focus group, had also participated in physical programs for weight loss like for example Weight Watchers. Something they really liked about such programmes is a physical space, sense of community, peer support and the move towards a common goal.

Existing Mobile Apps Ecosystem: On the other hand when asked about what could be the features in a weight loss app that could possibly motivate them, they said, they would prefer a platform where it is possible to share their progress socially and compete with other people through pictures and input their personal weight loss goals. The users said that they would prefer an app that is not too complex to use, and is more personal, giving them a feeling that they are not alone.

Another research by American Psychology Association, says that it is easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support, you can share tips on diet and exercise and have an exercise buddy.

Based on the research 6 sources of influences, of motivation have been identified, Personal motivation and ability, social motivation and ability and structural motivation and ability. It is important to make the best use of these sources when trying to achieve a goal. In weight loss, social and structural factors are as important as the personal efforts, since a huge part of the experience relies on self -image.

From the discussion above, it is evident that world obesity and the weight issues are on the rise and are expected to grow. Having said that, there is a room for a tool to help people expedite the weight loss journey. Based on the cited research, it becomes clear that there is lot to desired when it comes to weight loss through mobile apps, some key features of the tool that have been identified are ease of access, social goal setting and personal motivation.