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Medical Minute: Texting and Dieting
November 14, 2011
Texting is entering medicine with a vengeance, with a multitude of studies showing how it can benefit patient management with regard to mental illness, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Now a Johns Hopkins study led by Lawrence Cheskin, a weight management expert, is using the technique to help people lose weight.
CHESKIN: We’ve taken 150 people, who are overweight or obese, who would like to lose weight, we assigned them to either getting our standard treatment, which is coming in to the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, giving them a good diet and exercise plan, seeing them in a few months, the second group gets exactly the same diet and treatment but they will be given messages every day on their cell phone that are individualized, so they’re based on the kinds of changes they want to make in their diet and physical activity.
People are sent about four messages a day, with the last one asking for a response such as how many steps you've taken today. Cheskin hopes texting will further empower and motivate people trying to lose weight.
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.
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