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Apps to combat obesity

Tagged In:  Allied Health

Obesity is a national and global issue and its prevalence in the UK alone increased from 15 percent in 1993 to 27 percent in 2015. To combat this, the UK government has created over 40 policies and programmes. 

Examples of these include taking 20 percent of sugar out of products; a soft drinks levy; encouragement of exercise in children; and innovation funding for healthier products and technology that could promote this.

Some of this technology includes apps that encourage heathy eating and exercise habits. According to a report by the Office of National Statistics, 95 percent of households in the UK have purchased or own a mobile phone. Therefore, wellness apps could potentially make a difference and reduce obesity. After reviewing many, we have put together a list of five free apps that the NHS supports and that those working in nursing jobs and dietetic jobs may find helpful to recommend to their patients.

1. NHS Weight Loss Plan

This is a 12-week weight loss guide that was developed by The British Dietetic Association. It includes a BMI calculator and advice on food and nutrition as well as activity and exercise. It is beneficial for people who are starting a diet and need to get into a routine! 

2. Change4Life Be Food Smart

Public Health England released this app to help UK citizens monitor the sugar, saturated fat and salt content in the foods that they consume.  All they do is simply scan the barcode of the product and see what it says! 

3. One You Easy Meals

If you are a diabetic nurse whose patient who finds it particularly hard to track what they are eating and who struggles to come up with healthy recipes ideas, One You Easy Meals could help. The app provides users with meal options in addition to a shopping list that they can use to make healthier food purchases. 

4. Calorie Checker

Do you have patients that like to eat out on occasion? This app is perfect for them because it has data on the calorie and fat content for over 150,000 food and drink items from restaurants and fast food chains like McDonalds, KFC and Burger King. 

5. NHS Couch to 5K

According to the ‘Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet England: 2017,’ 61 percent of adults were classified as active while 26 percent of adults were classified as inactive. While this figure represents a positive trend in physical activity, for some patients, it’s crucial they make more of an effort to exercise more. This app is great for patients who want to improve their fitness and begin running because it helps build up stamina gradually over time. 

If you have any success stories where patients have used apps to help manage their exercise and food intake, we’d be really interested to hear about it! 

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