We already know that adults who keep written food diaries lose more weight than those who don’t. But today with kids constantly using iPods, Nintendo Wii and cell phones, old-fashioned non-technological methods may not have the same successful results. With that in mind, researchers from the University of North Carolina hope that texting will be the weight loss solution for the future.

After conducting an eight-week study, researchers found that children ages 5 to 13 were almost twice as likely to text daily records of their food intake, exercise and screen time as those using paper diaries.

“What we’re looking for is a fun way for people, particularly children, to keep these diaries,” says lead author Jennifer Shapiro, PhD. “If people enjoy doing it, they’re more likely to do it and more likely to lose weight.”

Texting’s popularity of this approach was demonstrated by the fact 100 percent of the participating children and parents initially said they hoped they would be selected for the text-messaging group.

Creating child- and teen-friendly approaches to losing weight is crucial given that 19 percent of kids aged 6 to 11 are overweight, and 80 percent remain overweight into adulthood.