Your Fitness Tracker Is Probably Not Counting Your Calories Correctly

Fitbits and similar devices are the way to track fitness. However, when it comes to counting calories, they may not be too accurate.

According to a new paper published by a team of Stanford researchers in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, the calorie trackers in these devices were incorrect by a noticeable margin.

The Guardian reported that the popular Fitbit Surge was the most accurate device, off by an average of 27 percent, whereas PulseOn was the least accurate, off by an average of 93 percent.

Such inaccuracies can add up, said Tim Church, professor of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.

As he told NPR: "People are checking these inaccurate counts and they think they’ve earned a muffin or earned some ice cream and they’re sabotaging their weight-loss program."

PulseOn released a statement to NPR arguing that "the authors may not have properly set all the user parameters on the device," prompting inaccurate readings.

By contrast, heart rate calculations on the devices tested were nearly always accurate; researchers found most were off by only about 5 percent.

 

H/t: The Washington Post