February 21, 2008

In The News: High-Tech Weight Loss

Forbes Magazine recently highlighted new high-tech products in the nutrition and health field.

Among them: personal digital coaches (includes meal recommendations, customized shopping lists, and daily motivational messages, such as "brush your teeth after dinner to fight dessert cravings"), hotel-room-friendly workouts for your IPod(you say 'ten pound weight', I say "nightstand lamp"), calorie burning trackers (they let you know exactly how many calories you're burning by measuring, among other things, just how much you sweat), and instant nutritional information for hundreds of chain restaurants (should you get the quesadilla or soup and salad combo?).

The two I am not too fond of are the "camera-phone food journaling" and "cell phone personal trainer."

When it comes to food journaling, photos are helpful for recalling portion sizes and extra details ("oh yeah, I guess there was avocado in that dish!").

However, they don't reveal everything.

That salad you ate for lunch can make for quite a healthy-looking photo, but what the lens isn't showing -- or helping you remember -- is that you added five tablespoons of dressing to it.

When it comes to personal training, nothing can replace an actual human being.

It's one thing to watch a professional do lunges and try to emulate the movement, but you need someone there -- at least initially -- to make sure you are performing the exercise correctly, maintaining your posture, and maximizing muscle utilization.

What are your thoughts on these new technologies? Do any of them particularly catch your eye?

1 comment:

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