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BGU Alumna Tackles Obesity Problem With an App

BGU Alumna Tackles Obesity Problem With an App

November 21, 2018

Social Sciences & Humanities

Globes – Ben-Gurion University alumna Anat Levy invented a dieting app that is both fun and effective.

The MyDietCoach app, founded in 2011, provides a virtual personal training experience. The app utilizes psychological mechanisms in order to remind the user in real time that nutritional choices have consequences. Levy studied computer science and brain science at BGU.

Motivation studies show that kicking an addiction fails when concentration is diverted and the addiction mechanism in the brain “abducts” the decision from the rational mind. MyDietCoach’s gaming techniques are designed to make the reward for good behavior immediate, thereby reinforcing the rational voice in the user’s awareness, even under “hazardous” circumstances.

Every user in the system constructs an avatar for him/herself. A user is awarded points for good behavior which she can then use to obtain virtual gifts like putting clothes on her avatar. If a user feels that he or she is about to surrender, an emergency button can be pressed and messages will be delivered to persuade the user to adhere to his previous decisions.

Various reminders can also be programmed – from a reminder to drink water immediately to “The meeting begins now. You promised yourself not to eat those cookies!”

MyDietCoach also has all of the basic features of popular health apps, such as an eating diary, an exercise diary, weight documentation, an option to access before and after images, and more.

The app has already been downloaded over 10 million times.

Read more on the Globes website >>