This app provides weight loss tips, a body mass index (BMI) calculator and a calorie chart for various food items. It promotes the use of “natural weight losing tips, and some home remedies for losing weight”. The app includes suggestions on what food should eaten to reduce weight, what foods should be avoided, some simple exercises, and weight loss recipes. For a more detailed description of the app, see Google Play and for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ The alerts relating to a person's BMI were correct stating whether an individual was considered normal, overweight or underweight. However, this is not adjusted for children or teenagers.
✔ It includes meal plans and recipe ideas.
✘ The app calculates BMI, body fat percentage, ideal body weight and energy requirements. The low energy requirements the app suggests is concerning and it does not take into account activity levels.
✘ Ideal body weight was calculated to a BMI of 21. In New Zealand, a BMI in the range between 18.5 – 24.9 is considered normal weight.
✘ The terms and words used in this app seem judgmental such as referring to the user as fat and/or lazy.
✘ The safety of some of the tips or suggestions are concerning as they do not appear to be evidence-based.
✘ The app developers did not appear to include anyone with a background in nutrition research, dietitians or public health professionals.
Reviewer: Dietitian App Review Working Group, Auckland DHB, July 2015. Review: "The use of this app is not recommended. Many weight loss tips are not evidence based and raised some concern about safety. Calorie requirements estimated were considered low and it was felt that in some cases micronutrient RDA would not be achieved at these calorie requirements. Recipes and meal plans were provided which included suggested portion sizes (including a specific section for Indian recipes). While meal plans were high in fruit and vegetables, they were very low in dairy products." New Zealand relevance: "The app calculated ideal body weight to a BMI of 21.In New Zealand, a BMI in the range between 18.5 – 24.9 is considered normal weight."
Formal MARS Review
The formal app review is based on the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) developed by researchers at Queensland University of Technology, Australia.(1) It is designed to score apps on a few comprehensive dimensions — engagement, functionality, aesthetics, and information quality. Each dimension comprises several items which are rated on a 5-point scale from “1. Inadequate” to “5. Excellent”.
The tech review relates to the technical aspects of the app, such as security, privacy, etc.
The following links provide more detailed information on the technical aspects of apps.