New Study Shows Supportive Text Messages Can Help You Lose Weight

Consumers are using digital technologies to communicate more often with their doctors to manage their chronic diseases
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Dr. Ashwani Singal, an associate professor at University of Alabama Birmingham

(Washington, D.C., Monday, May 8, 2017) - Consumers are using digital technologies to communicate more often with their doctors to manage their chronic diseases. Obesity affects more than one in every three adults in the U.S., and increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD – a potentially life-threatening disease, because it can progress to liver cirrhosis, and even cancer.

Weight loss is the only known way to successfully treat patients with NAFLD. A recently released study was performed on 22 patients weighing about 240 pounds. A control group of patients received the standard of care – instructions on healthy diet and exercise during visits. A second group of patients got the same advice — but also received three text messages a week for 22 weeks, reiterating all the supportive messages. After six months, patients in the texting group lost an average of 11.2 pounds, compared to an average of 2.2 pounds gain in the control group. This benefit of the text messaging approach was associated with significant improvement in liver enzymes and serum triglycerides.

Dr. Ashwani Singal, an associate professor at University of Alabama Birmingham, discusses these findings shared at Digestive Disease Week, the world’s largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

For more information, visit www.ddw.org.

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