Are mobile technologies that track your behavior helpful or harmful? And are they enough to bring about change in your behavior?
In 2013 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided they would not regulate mobile health apps unless they are connected to a medical device (e.g., wireless blood pressure cuff). Because of the lack of regulation, many mobile apps for diet and fitness do not include evidence-based principles and many have not been shown to be effective for promoting behavior change.
Despite the lack of effectiveness, the top two diet and fitness apps have 50 million users who sign on with the hope of losing weight and getting healthier. During this dinner, we will discuss the ethics of developing health and fitness apps that are not evidence-based but are being used by millions of Americans. Should these apps be regulated? Should they be required to show effectiveness?
Pre-dinner activity: If you haven’t used a tracking app before, download the app MyFitnessPal and experience what it is like to track your diet and exercise in an app.
Dr. Dori Steinberg is Assistant Professor, Nursing and Global Health in Duke’s School of Nursing.
Video & Readings:
Selected attendees will be notified via email several days in advance of the dinner with details regarding meeting location. All dinners will be within reasonable driving distance to Duke campus.
Science & Society will also provide a shuttle for those unable to arrange transportation to the dinner dialogue location. Shuttles will depart 30 minutes before the scheduled event from the front entrance of the North Building on West Campus. Click here for a map.