Mobile App Puts Researcher’s Tips and Tools for Sustainable Health Management into Action

app-page2Ah, New Year’s Resolutions, remember those? If you’re like most people, those once-promising pledges of renewal, repurpose, and rededication have by now fallen by the wayside.

“Research shows that, by Valentine’s Day, the majority of people have given up on their resolutions,” explains Charlotte Markey, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University–Camden.

For those still looking to stay on track, or perhaps just needing a helpful nudge in the right direction, they are only a few clicks away from the useful tips and tools of the innovative new SmartenFit app.

Whereas some fitness apps have the ability to confuse, leading users to get a workout just trying to figure them out, SmartenFit was designed as an easy-to-use tool to help individuals navigate a path toward sustainable, good health.

“The app is a helpful resource for those looking for a simplified way to monitor their nutritional choices and exercise, and set realistic and attainable goals, without having to count every calorie or step,” says Markey, who helped to develop the app as a companion to her new book, Smart People Don’t Diet.

Retailing for $2.99 in the App Store, the mobile resource allows users to keep tabs on food intake, set nutrition and health goals, and swap out foods for healthier alternatives.

SmartenFit features a periodically updated news feed with research-based health tips and articles, a database of healthier food alternatives, a customizable food diary allowing users to add photo and text entries, and a body mass index (BMI) calculator. It also enables users to set goals and reminders, and to track their progress via a personal dashboard with easy-to-read graphs.

Charlotte Markey. Photo by Caryn Schwartz

Charlotte Markey. Photo by Caryn Schwartz

The app puts the Rutgers–Camden researcher’s refreshing approach to weight management into action, helping users to adopt a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Just like the advice that Markey dispenses in her book, the resource is based on decades of scientific evidence from psychologists, nutritionists, public health professionals, and doctors.

According to Markey, both the app and the book are designed to help individuals make a lifelong commitment to healthier living – beyond the gimmicks, quick fixes, and hollow promises. In Smart People Don’t Diet, Markey offers simple strategies for altering bad eating habits. She also addresses the psychological and physical aspects of weight management, dedicating entire chapters to research on body image and exercise.

SmartenFit was developed by Markey and graduate school friends Jennifer Van Riet and Lorie Sousa, who met in their doctoral program at the University of California–Riverside and have been friends ever since. Markey went on to become a world-renowned expert in health psychology, conducting research on eating, dieting, body image, and obesity risk for more than 15 years. Sousa became a data scientist and entrepreneur working in the domains of marketing research and education. Van Riet went on to become an expert in user experience and mobile innovation and has worked for several companies in Silicon Valley, including Intuit, Microsoft, and America Online.

As working mothers, the friends have admittedly struggled to find easy ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They launched SmartenFit as a useful, well-researched tool for “regular people with busy lives” that facilitates health and wellness.


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