Researchers at Drexel University’s Laboratory for Innovations in Health-Related Behavior Change have developed a computer game and smartphone app to help people control unhealthy eating habits as part of two studies, which they hope will assist people in ultimately losing weight. The game called DietDash, being used in the first study, has been designed to improve a person’s “inhibitory control” to assist participants in boosting their willpower and not give in to unhealthy cravings. Once the study is complete, the research team suggest that the game could be developed into a mobile app.
The second study will make use of the mobile app called DietAlert, which intelligently detects patterns in a person’s eating habits by collecting information about a user’s eating habits and uses an algorithm to determine when they’re most likely to cheat with during their diet. When this is most likely to happen according to the app, users will be provided with tailored strategies to get them back on track. The app has been developed with funding from Weight Watchers and the Obesity Society.