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Weight Loss Wednesday: Baton Rouge doctors need volunteers for their healthy eating app

Dr. John Apolzan and Dr. Corby Martin at Pennington in Baton Rouge, have created the PortionSize app to help portion distortion.

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana has one of the highest rates of obesity U.S., and it is getting higher, adding to loss from COVID-19. 

A couple of doctors in Louisiana said they have figured out a way to take all the guesswork out of the calories and portion size that you eat, and they need volunteers to be the first to try their new technology.

Doctors have been seeing COVID-19 take the lives of people with health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, but a local doctor treating those patients said one condition is standing out as the most dangerous: Obesity.

"The comorbidity that’s getting much more attention — and we knew it from the beginning — is obesity, and in our state, and everywhere. And we have children under five that are properly classed as obese," said  Dr. Jim Aiken, an LSUHSC Emergency Medicine Physician.

New Orleans area residents have the opportunity to test new technology that one day could help people lose weight.

"So we find that really, fairly innovative and exciting for the population to be able to get this information and actually get feedback on what they’re eating," said Dr. John Apolzan,  an Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. 

Dr. John Apolzan and Dr. Corby Martin at Pennington in Baton Rouge, have created the PortionSize app to help portion distortion.

 Twenty years ago a cheeseburger was 333 calories today it's 590.  A blueberry muffin was 210 calories, today it's 500. 

The new app is much more sophisticated than what’s on the market. It calculates the food,  portion size, calories and if you’re getting the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, grains and more. 

"Most of the time you take a picture you don’t know what’s exactly on your plate, but here you know exactly what’s going to be on your plate," explained Dr. Apolzan. 

In the future, it could tell you if you’re meeting the goals of a specific diet for diabetes or a low carb Keto diet. 

"This will allow people, in a free-living environment, to adhere to different diets and then also provide real-time feedback on portion size, which is critical for weight maintenance and weight loss," said Dr. Apolzan.

And that is critical for your health now more than ever.

The doctors need adults to try this app in a pilot study starting Wednesday and a bigger study starting in January. 

Volunteers will be paid. Call (225) 763-3000 for more.

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