Today’s Solutions: September 29, 2023

If you’re one of the many who might have developed bad snacking habits during the pandemic lockdowns, then you’re in luck. There’s an app out there that can help you call it quits on your junk food consumption and help you reach for veggies instead of chips.

The universities of Exeter and Helsinki conducted a study that reveals that playing The Food Trainer (FoodT app) at least once per day for a month helps people consume less junk food and lose weight.

The app trains people to tap on images of healthy foods, but to avoid unhealthy snacks when they pop up, which creates an association between unhealthy snacks and stopping.

The research team measured junk food consumption on an eight-point scale which ranges from four or more junk-food items per day to one or zero items per month. The study included a sample of 1,234 participants, half of whom followed the recommendation of playing the game at least 10 times per day.

The study revealed that regular use of the FoodT app led to an average of a one-point reduction of junk food consumption at the close of the month. Across all participants, an average weight loss of just over one pound (half a kilogram) was observed. They also reported a small increase in the consumption of healthy food.

Professor Natalia Lawrence from the University of Exeter says, “Overall, the findings are really encouraging. The app is free, and it only takes about four minutes per day—so it’s something people realistically can do—and our results suggest it is effective.”

The results also indicate that the benefits were even greater for people who were more overweight. Lawrence goes on to explain that the team expected this outcome, “because the app targets mechanisms that lead people to become overweight, such as the strong urge to approach and consume tempting junk foods.”

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