Wearable fitness trackers are quite the rage these days for fitness freaks and weight loss fanatics alike. If you’re one of those who’ve bought them for weight loss, you might have just wasted your money.

According to a 2 yr long study conducted by the prestigious University of Pittsburgh, a fitness tracker does not help in losing weight, rather a weight loss regimen that is followed meticulously will give better results for weight loss.

The participants of the study were young, overweight and tech savvy individuals between the ages of 18-35 with BMI’s ranging from 25 to 39, much like you and me. The results that were published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that out of the 470 people that participated, the group not wearing the tracker device showed a weight loss of 13 pounds i.e. nearly 6 kilos, whilst the others who wore lost only 7.7 pounds or 3.5 kilos. Before beginning the study, the health and weight of each participant were evaluated. They were started on a low-calorie diet, one good for a weight loss program, with moderate cardio exercise and attended weekly sessions. Participants also kept journals to assess how much they ate, what diet they took, and how much exercise they got. They had hoped the device would help them,but the results say otherwise.

Lead author  Dr. Jakicic said that instead of focusing on their behaviour, they chose to depend on technology instead.


The results, however, are of a study carried out from 2010-12 and the fitness trackers were the ones wrapped up on the upper arm. One of the leading fitness devices company, FitBit argued that today’s fitness trackers for weight loss intervention are worn on the wrist whereas the study is concluding results based on devices on the arm. The company had also carried out its independent research that concluded that their fitness devices indeed helped with weight loss.

Still planning to buy one? Invest in a bicycle instead.







Visit nutritionist, PGD, M.Sc Dietitics & Nutrition, 4+ years experience

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