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 In the 9-month Make Better Choices 2 (MBC2) trial, participants who used an app and received coaching aimed at improving diet and exercise habits attained important improvements in behaviors that affect risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, it didn"t matter if the participants tried to change several behaviors at once or only one at a time. The investigators  saw about a 2-hour reduction in TV and computer screen watching, a six-serving-per-day increase intake of fruits and vegetables, a 3.7% reduction in saturated-fat intake, and about a 15-minute increase in moderate/vigorous physical activity. A control group that received an app and coaching about managing stress levels did not have these diet and exercise improvements.

“The implications are that it"s far more possible than I would have believed to produce sustained, large-magnitude improvements in cardiovascular risk behaviors without using large financial incentives The apps are proliferating and consumers are using them”, said Dr Bonnie Spring (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL).