A new study suggests that using social sites can help people lose weight. Joining social sites makes people more committed to losing weight.
In a study done by Brie Turner-McGrievy of the Arnold School’s Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and her associates, they discovered that those who use Twitter to tell the world about their plan to lose weight have an improved chance of losing weight.
The study that got published on the January issue of the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine, disclosed that the participants only used Twitter to update and get support to one another.
Turner-McGrievy noted that those who use Twitter as part of their weight loss program lose more weight than someone who did not use Twitter as part of their weight loss program.
The study followed the lives of 96 overweight and obese men and women who live in a metropolitan area over a six-month period. All participants have at least one of four types of mobile devices that have access to the internet such as iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, or an Android-based phone. Participants were randomly assigned to either the podcast-only (Podcast) group or podcast, plus enhanced mobile media intervention (Podcast + mobile), group.
Both groups receive two podcasts each week, which lasted for three months. They also receive two mini-podcasts per week during the third to sixth months (five minutes each). The podcasts shared some information about nutrition and exercise, goal setting, and even an audio soap opera. In addition to the podcasts, the Podcast + mobile group were provided with a diet and physical activity monitoring application (app) and a Twitter app to their mobile device. Researchers discovered that members of both groups lose 2.7 percent of their total body weight within six months.
Turner-McGrievy said that the usual behavioral weight loss interference has their own social support group that meets weekly to share their experience. Though the method has been proven effective, it is also expensive since participants need to spend some money every time they attend group meetings. Social interaction online makes sharing inexpensive as they can do it at the comfort of their home.