Imagine a world where affordable, quality health care is available to every person, and where infectious disease and infant and maternal mortality are as rare in the poorest parts as they are in wealthier countries. The world has already come a long way toward meeting this goal. But to finish the job, we need to change our thinking. To be sure, the incidence of child mortality and cases of deadly infectious diseases have dropped dramatically around the world. For example, polio, which once paralyzed a thousand children every day, has been eliminated from all but three countries, with just 33 cases last year.
The Rio Grande Valley is home to many health barriers that are common among low-income communities across the country: Roughly half of the sprawling region is considered a food desert – where neighborhoods, often low-income ones, lack ready access to healthy food – while scores of restaurants and fast-food joints line the roads. Public transportation is limited, and the rates of people without health insurance are generally much higher than in the state overall, leaving many residents to wait until their health conditions reach emergency status before they seek care.
One of the health apps analyzed in the study was MyFitnessPal, one of the "consistently highest-rated free apps for calorie monitoring" with a database of 3 million food items, according to the study. When tested as a stand-alone app for six months, using the app to monitor caloric intake made little difference to the weight of participants. Other calorie-counting and fitness apps analyzed also made little to no impact on participants' weight loss.