We all know that guy. He's, for lack of a better term, the app guy. He's the modern day evangelist for an interconnected electronic society. If you listen to him, pretty much every ill in the world can and will be solved by a cell phone. And you know what? To be fair, sometimes he has a point. I mean if you really need to use the bathroom, or ensure you get into a packed New York train, apps can be pretty useful. But what happens when the app evangelist guy tells you the app can actually save your life? You can humor a guy for saying a soundboard's a real lifesaver. But if someone says an app can literally save your life than you're going to need a bit more. So the question is, can the machine that you run far sound effects on actually keep you from getting diabetes or the like?
The answer's a little complicated. A recent study actually took a look at what impact health apps could have on the development of diabetes. It took a look at some normal people. Just folks who wanted a piece of pizza, not folks who'd order a slice than sprinkle Garcinia Cambogia onto it. The basic idea was that the researchers wanted to know if diabetes medications, health apps or lifestyle changes would make the most impact on people who might be at risk for the condition. The results were somewhat surprising in that both the app use and the medications didn't have that much of an effect over a placebo. What really made the most impact was the lifestyle changes.
The big question a lot of people would have on seeing that is just why the apps wouldn't help very much. To cut to the heart of the matter, think about how much you love doing paperwork and filling out forms. Oh, wait, that's right - nobody likes doing paperwork or filling out forms. And that's proved to be the general downfall of most health apps. For example, most diet and nutrition apps require a pretty big chunk of time from a person's day. First one has to actually weigh themselves, and enter it into their phone using a touchscreen interface. Then on eating a meal, one has to manually look up every item one has eaten and enter it in. And get ready for a lot of tedium if you actually make a meal instead of going for something prepackaged. Because for every ingredient, you're going to need to add in some separate entry or create a new custom one. It takes forever and most people quickly begin skipping the entry for a meal or two. And then three, and four, and eventually people aren't even using it.
And given that New York has some of the best places to eat in the entire country, it's even worse having to give up that fun to switch over to some tedious data entry. Instead, what's been found to work best at the moment is simply talking it out with people. Find other people trying to eat healthy and start working on it together. Let your friends know what's up too. When you go out to eat, it's easy to lie to an app. But your friends know what's going on and can be counted to call you out if you break out of your new healthy lifestyle.