Friday, January 10, 2014

Trackers and Childhood Obesity

Over the past week, it has been thrilling to read about the increasing presence of health trackers at the Consumer Electronic Show this year. By some reports, health-related consumer devices occupied close to 10% of the exhibit floor space! A good summary of several of the leading trackers is here:

In my pediatric endocrinology practice (Central Ohio Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Services in Columbus Ohio), we have been using trackers to fight childhood obesity over the past year with increasing success. One such example that comes to mind is an adorable 6 year old boy who had increasing weight over the preceding 2 years peeking at 90 pounds when he first came to see me. However, upon following a strict modified-Atkins diet along with using the Jawbone UP tracker, he (and his whole family) have now started losing weight as is noted in his growth chart below:

He starts by uploading his tracker to his phone.

The app keeps track of his steps measured on the device. We have set a goal of 10,000 steps per day to help with weight loss which he has been achieving regularly. At his appointments, I am easily able to monitor his progress.

I am excited to see how much fun he is having using the tracker which fits very easily into this tech-savvy family. The future is now in healthcare and technology...and it's looking healthier for children!