Researchers from The University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre have ranked apps for weight loss from more than 800 apps available, according to their scientific basis, ability to change behaviour and their accuracy. Each app was used for five days and assessed against a range of quality measures including the credibility of their information source, the accuracy and coverage of scientific information, the inclusion of enhanced features such as barcode scanners, usability and likelihood of changing behaviour.

Noom Weight Loss Coach was the most likely to change behaviour and assist weight loss, Australian app, Control My Weight (CalorieKing Wellness Solutions) and Calorie Counter Pro ( MyNetDiary Inc) were jointly rated as second best.

The advice given when choosing an app was to check:

  • The source is credible and that health professionals have been involved in the development
  • Techniques for changing behaviour are included, motivational components such as points, levels, feedback, rewards and challenges
  • The information provided matches up with reliable sources on healthy eating such as the  Australian Dietary Guidelines (
  • Easy to use and log your intake , including an Australian database of foods

Most effective weight loss was to use an app in conjunction with weight loss counselling from a health professional who can help with goal setting and identifying barriers and ways to follow your plan. The app alone requires a highly motivated individual to maintain food logging over a long period of time and most people find the process tedious and stop using the app.

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