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To fight childhood obesity, Israeli docs prescribe app that gamifies weight loss

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Israel’s largest hospital has deployed smartphone gamification to help tackle what doctors say is a crisis of childhood obesity — one that has gotten worse during the coronavirus pandemic.

Doctors are telling young patients who struggle with weight gain to use an Israeli-developed app called Rumble to track steps taken and other forms of exercise.

The data doesn’t just sit on the device: Good stats are rewarded with “health points” that can be cashed in for real-life prizes like healthy treats and exercise equipment. Kids can also choose to compete with each other over how many points they win.

Sheba Medical Center is the first hospital in the world to integrate Rumble — which is already used by hundreds of thousands of Israelis — into its treatment plans.

After a successful year-long pilot, during which the app was constantly being customized to fit hospital use, it’s now given to all childhood obesity patients. The company behind the app is now starting to market it to American hospitals too.

“Obesity has become one of the most common chronic diseases among children,” pediatrician and........

© The Times of Israel

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