Fitness trackers could stop you losing weight, says leading professor

Fitness trackers: 'It distracts them from the other things that are important to control their weight', says leading professor

Fitness trackers could mean losing less weight (Getty)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fitness trackers could actually get in the way of losing weight, a new study at the University of Pittsburgh has revealed. 

The study looked at 470 18 to 35 year-olds who were all taking part in a Weight Watchers program. The first group followed a standard regimen of healthy eating and increased exercise, while the second group also used a fitness tracker.

The first group lost around 13lbs throughout the study, whereas the second group only lost 7.7lbs.

Professor John Jakicic, who organised the study, told Sam Delaney about his surprise at the result.

"We weren't expecting this, we expected the opposite," Prof. Jakicic said. "It's hard to determine one particular explanation.

"What may be going on is people who are overweight and trying to make some of these big lifestyle changes that are complex, focus on this number that comes up on this activity tracker, it distracts them from the other things that are important to control their weight.

"They might get this false sense of security that, as long as this thing tells me I'm doing ok, then I don't have to pay attention to those other things."

Listen to the full interview to find out more