According to WHO, obesity has nearly tripled globally since 1975. A 2016 report showed that more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, out of which over 650 million were obese. So many people are dying every year not because they are underweight but because of being overweight. But obesity is nothing untreatable, it can be prevented as well as cured.
Obesity is a condition caused due to excessive weight and fat accumulation in a person’s body. Body mass index (BMI) is used to find whether a person is overweight or not. BMI is a ratio of weight to height, calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kg by the square of his height in metres. It is said that a person is obese if he has a high BMI. Obesity is responsible for causing severe health hazards such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and some tumours. However, it is absolutely preventable and treatable; thus spreading awareness is critically important to educate people about the causes, harms, and treatments of obesity. This article will shed some light on the technological solutions for fighting obesity.
Technology against obesity
In today’s extremely busy world, it becomes very difficult to take care of our own health. You might also be reading this article while laying in your bed or sitting. Some people blame the nature of their job that makes them sit for hours. A global obesity outbreak is often blamed on increasing fast-food consumption due to aggressive fast-food brand marketing and consumption of other high-calorie foods and beverages. People don’t follow mindful eating patterns, rather indulge in unhealthy food habits. Exercising is another crucial aspect to be considered while talking about being healthy. Technology is also blamed for minimising our physical activity and creating such an unhealthy environment that prevents people from moving and doing chores on their own. However, technology holds the potential to prevent obesity by turning around the situation and making us more aware of our health. Over the last few decades, the healthcare sector has been transformed through the advent of technology; the term ‘digital health’ is often used to refer to the applications of technology in healthcare. Some innovations that took place as a result of technology in the medical field include wearable healthcare sensors, wearable heart rate monitors, sleep trackers, period trackers, online education platforms, robotic healthcare assistants, and many more. These technologies can also help us in the fight against obesity. With the help of wearable sensors, people can monitor their physical, biochemical, and psychological activities, and find personalised treatments according to their health reports. Some technological solutions have been discussed below to help you prevent falling into the trap of obesity.
Getting sound sleep is much more important than we think it is, the health benefits of a good night’s sleep are uncountable. If we do not take proper rest at night we usually feel exhausted, confused, and unmotivated. Moreover, according to the research we are likely to eat more and gain weight if we do not sleep properly. There are various sleep tracking bands available in the market, their features include sleep and stress monitoring. It lets you know how many hours you sleep at night and whether you had a sound sleep or disturbed sleep. You can also connect your phone to the device for keeping a track of your sleeping patterns.
Stress monitoring devices
It is clearly evident that chronic stress can lead to several mental illnesses and result in deteriorated health. Depression has become so prevalent these days and every other person is suffering from mental stress. Stress affects your ability to think and perform tasks efficiently. Besides other negative impacts, stress also makes it harder to lose weight by affecting your metabolism. Stress monitoring can work as a game-changer for people with obesity. Based on your levels of stress you can opt for stress relief options such as online apps for meditation and stress relief.
Fitness tracking gadgets
Fitness trackers come with in-built sensors that can monitor a person’s physical activity such as step count. These gadgets come in various forms such as wristbands, digital watches, chest straps, arm straps, etc. The use of such health monitors has become very common among today’s tech-savvy generation as these tools are affordable and give appropriate results. These devices measure your vitals such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, distance walked, calories burned, sleeping hours, etc. It monitors your patterns and provides personalised ways in which you can improve your health. Tracking your health habits and lifestyle can be the first step towards improving your health. Weight loss journey becomes difficult sometimes when you do it on your own, at that time fitness trackers can act as your guide to make this happen. Tracking data also gives us motivation in realising how far we have come and motivates us to do better in the future.
Smart weighing scales
The foremost step towards the fight against obesity is to measure your weight. It is extremely crucial to keep a track of your weight, BMI, etc so that you can plan your diet accordingly. You can maintain data on your weight in order to understand your progress and know what kind of diet and exercise is working for you. Sleek-looking smart weighing scales can be connected to your mobile phones and sync the data to your device. For example, the Fitbit smart scale syncs your data to their mobile app and generates your BMI to help you stay updated on your health.
Sometimes it feels so frustrating when we don’t know whether the food we’re eating is healthy or not. It is crucial to do mindful eating but people are not food scientists to categorise foods as healthy or unhealthy. However, technology has a solution for that too; there are food scanners available in the market that will let you know the composition of your food before you eat. Food scanners have optical scanners that scan your food, detect the light which is reflected, and analyse the molecular makeup of the food. The scanner can measure micronutrients and ingredients in the food and sends the data to your phone within seconds; which will allow you to prevent eating unhealthy stuff.
Have you ever felt that whatever exercise you are doing is not helping you lose weight? I bet you blame it on the trainer or your bad luck, but maybe you’re not doing it right. To help you track your movements, there are various workout trackers available in the market. Wondercise Studio is one such app that has videos of professional workout sessions. Their wearable tracker analyzes the movement of your body parts and coordinates them with the trainer’s movements. This helps in getting instant feedback during workouts while eliminating the need for a coach.
One of the major hurdles in the way of the weight loss journey is lack of motivation. No matter how much zeal and zest we gather to start our journey, we get lost in the way. We are all human beings and need a real person’s support at some point. But either our schedules or lack of time prevents us from going to a personal dietician and an exercise coach. Worry not, online coaches are available to assist you throughout the journey. Artificial intelligence is helpful in various aspects but it lacks understanding of human feelings and emotions. Many platforms provide professional doctors and experts help to support a person’s healthcare monitoring. They are trained professionals with huge data on patients to provide personalised treatments based on a person’s situation.
We have a long way ahead of us to eliminate obesity on the global level, but we can start by taking small steps on our own. The devices that we have mentioned above will help you become more aware of your health and you will be able to make the right diet and exercise choices for yourself. However, we are at the nascent stages of technology in healthcare, thus it may take some time to design completely automated software and devices. But it is our willpower and combined efforts with technology that can help eliminate obesity.